The Watch has officially entered OMG level. In years past, when the Chicago Cubs were in on a big trade target, there was always a huge knock on their chances: they don’t have the prospects.
And it was usually true. The Cubs’ farm depth has increased dramatically in the past few years under the leadership of Scouting Director Tim Wilken, and now, they have one of the better systems in the league. And that helps when you’re trying to get a guy like, say, Curtis Granderson. In fact, Jim Callis of Baseball America believes the Cubs may have the best prospects to get a deal done.
“I’d rank them Cubs 1, Yankees 2, Angels 3.
“A huge factor in this is how far the clubs would be willing to get him, but the Cubs would be in a better position to put together a Granderson deal than the Yankees and Angels. If the Cubs wanted to include Starlin Castro, which might be a little crazy but they do have a lot of middle-infield talent on the way up, they could easily get a deal done. Even without Castro, they could put together a bat like Josh Vitters with an arm like Andrew Cashner, Jay Jackson or Chris Carpenter. If the Tigers were willing to take a talent further away from the majors, they could ask for Hak-Ju Lee, if the Cubs didn’t want to part with Castro.
“The Cubs have enough interesting young players to put together a package and still have talent remaining. The Yankees’ best prospect is slugger Jesus Montero, but I’m not sure they’d part with him. Even if they would, I don’t think he’s going to be a catcher, so you’re betting 100 percent on his bat. The Cubs could offer someone with much more positional value as a centerpiece and better secondary players in the deal.
“The Angels don’t have the same depth as the Cubs. I assume they’d try to build a deal around Brandon Wood, but I don’t think they could match the Cubs if the Cubs decide they have to have Granderson. And the Angels already have Torii Hunter, so I don’t think they’d want him as badly.” Chicago Breaking Sports.
So the Cubs have the goods, but are they willing to move what it will take to get Granderson?
Two sources suggest that the Cubs will not move fast-rising shortstop prospect Starlin Castro in a deal for Granderson; nor will they move the top arm in the system, last year’s top pick, Andrew Cashner.
But the Cubs are, apparently, willing to move their 2007 top pick, Josh Vitters, who is considered one of the top prospects in baseball. The two sources conflict, however, on whether the Cubs would be willing to send Carlos Marmol to the Tigers in a deal for Granderson.
Vitters and Marmol would be an incredibly steep price to pay for Granderson, and it therefore seems unlikely. It is more likely – and these things are always subject to the rapidly shifting sands of the offseason – that a package would be built around one of those two.