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.

  • Aisle 424

    Marmol by himself would be an incredibly steep price to pay for a guy who strikes out alot and has declined at the plate each of the last two years. You don’t trade a world-class arm with dominant experience on the major league level for a better-than-average (maybe) outfielder.

    I’m not sold on Vitters and I’m hearing more and more about how he will not be a third baseman at the major league level, so I have no problem parting with him while his value is still extremely high. Vitters plus a major-league ready bat (Fox) and maybe another A level prospect with upside should be enough (and probably more than enough) for someone like Granderson. Anything else is overpaying and we set him up to fail like Juan Pierre coming for 3 high-level pitching prospects.

    • Ace

      Look, I agree with you guys that the price is too steep, but you’re selling Granderson WAY short.

      He’s not “maybe” a better than average outfielder. He’s definitely above average, in a spot the Cubs need. And it’s not a matter of him simply not being able to hit lefties. He can’t hit lefties… but he rakes against righties.

      Ultimately, I like where your final proposal is at, Aisle. So, er, I guess we agree?

  • Mark

    Definitely too steep a price for a guy that can’t hit lefties. Why do you think the Tigers want to get rid of him so badly?

  • Jacob

    Josh Vitters, 3b
    Hak-Ju Lee, ss
    Chris Carpenter, rhp

    I’d deal those three from the farm system. But I would absolutely, positively, NEVER include Marmol. And that would be close to a final offer too. Maybe someone such as Heilman or Miles thrown in. But thats about it. Just me personally.

    • Ace

      Why is Marmol untouchable, Jacob? He’s great and cheap, but he’s wildly (pun) inconsistent. Maybe he’ll developing into a top tier closer this year, but maybe he’ll struggle with control again.

      Do I want to trade Marmol? Nah. But to be untouchable? Nah.

      • Jacob

        For Granderson he isn’t. He is one of our better pitchers. And we are already going on empty with the pitching quality. I wouldn’t trade him for Granderson is all. I never said he was untouchable in the comment.