Chicago Cubs Positional Player Trade Targets

Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman put together a list of the top 25 positional players who may be trade targets this year, and three Chicago Cubs made the list: Carlos Pena, Kosuke Fukudome, and Aramis Ramirez.

Given each’s contract situation, I suppose it’s fair, but all three landed lower on the list than you might expect, coming in at 15, 18, and 22, respectively, behind guys like Vlad Guerrero, Ivan Rodriguez and Jeff Keppinger.

Of Pena, Heyman says simply, “[h]e’s a free agent at year’s end, but he’ll need to get hot to bring any interest, what with his $10 million salary and a batting average that’s creeping up but still at just .220.” Referencing the batting average for Pena rings pretty hollow, given that he’s a career .239 hitter. Needs to get hot? Check. He’s got an OPS of .860 since May 25 with seven homers.

Pena isn’t the most glamorous trade target out there, but with reliable power and a top tier glove, there will be suitors. Of that, I’m sure.

On Fukudome, Heyman is spot on: “His $11-million salary is ultra-high considering he’s never shown to be the hitter he was in Japan. But he is a very good outfielder and carries a high on-base percentage (.404), so if the Cubs pay the majority of his contract, it isn’t out of the question they find a suitor.”

Heyman also nails Ramirez: “He’s said he would invoke his no-trade power, so it appears the Cubs and Ramirez have a few more months together.”

Other positional players whom the Cubs figure to shop and who could have wound up on Heyman’s list include outfielders Reed Johnson and Marlon Byrd. The former may not have had quite enough value to make the list (though he’s playing out of his mind this year) and the latter can’t be traded until he proves he’s back to his pre-injured self.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

24 responses to “Chicago Cubs Positional Player Trade Targets”

  1. Hogie

    I figure Baker ought to draw some interest for his skills vs lefties, and versatility off the bench.

  2. Caleb

    Absolutely not!

    Reed. Johnson. Stays.

    As president of his fan club, I’m invoking MY no-trade clause.

    You hear me, Jim? You hear me? I am the last person on this website to even give you a slight benefit of the doubt- you trade Reed and we’re through. I will join the ranks of Hendry-haters in full force!

    That being said, yeah. The rest looks spot on. I’d watch out for a few surprises though. There are a few relievers I wonder about, and maybe even someone like Blake Dewitt or Jeff Baker. Or maybe one of our younger guys playing on the team now could be figured in as trappings of a bigger deal. I’d say nobody is safe, but then I remember Castro.

  3. Blinda

    I hope they don’t get rid of Reed he has been great and I am glad to see him back.

  4. EQ

    It would be stupid financially to trade Ramirez… just let him play out the year then walk at season’s end, but for the love, let’s not pay him to play elsewhere and/or have to pick up some of his option for next year just to trade him…. Fuke & Pena could be dealt, but they better get something decent in return if we have to pay a portion of salary..

    I’m all for getting some of these young guys more experience for the years to come.. I can’t remember a time where this many good young players are up in the bigs.. hopefully, quite a few of them could turn into everyday players in the future.

    1. Michigan Goat

      I have to agree on this, I don’t think any team wants him since his club option automatically vest with a trade (another great Hendry add-on), and unless we are getting top tier talent we should pay nothing on next years contract. He will be here till season end, hit FA next year, and sign a one-year 5-8M “see I’m still worth $10/5 years” type of contract ala Berkman & Pena. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he retires, he just lacks the effort to be successful in his mid-30′s.

  5. Eric

    I know this is a bit off topic, but could someone explain to me why Quade keeps batting Dewitt 3rd in the lineup? Aramis, Soriano, and Pena have all been hitting the ball better lately, and to be honest i don’t think Dewitt scares any team especially in such a prime RBI spot.

  6. pfk

    So true. The entire middle of the lineup (3,4 and 5) is a disaster area. The club is positioned just about as good as it gets to re-build and shake things up….Ramirez, Fukudome, Pena and a couple of others coming off the books. Plenty of other positions to improve and trade bait…1b, 2b, 3b, catcher, RF, CF, starters (good selection of FA’s there). Only fly in the ointment is Soriano but every team has someone like that. Plus, who knows, if we eat enough salary he could be moved too. From now until next spring it should be very interesting indeed. Kind of exciting actually.

    1. TWC

      PFK, did you just say “wait ’til next year”?

      1. pfk

        I was saying wait ’til next year long before this year even started. I’ve always looked at this season as getting ready to reorganize and retool for several solid years starting with 2012. The Cubs aren’t going to win the division or get a wild card…but I don’t mind. They aren’t even close to being in the same conversation as the Red Sox, Phillies and Yankees. But they can be, starting in 2012 and beyond – provided they start now and not do something stupid like thinking they can “compete” this year. They should use the leverage they could get from teams actually in the hunt that may need a player to get them over the hump. There won’t be that leverage after the season is over.

        1. TWC

          We can hardly “compete” with the Astros. I just wish I had more trust that the management knows this and intends to focus the rest of their energies this season on preparing for 2012.

  7. EQ

    you know, Soriano is under-performing for the contract he signed, but we may be better off keeping him if he can hit 25-30 HR’s and hit .260, rather than have to pay $10-15 mil of his contract to play somewhere else.. we would have to replace that production somehow and lately, nobody is even giving us decent production.

    1. wax_eagle

      Agreed. As long as he can provide average value its better than paying him to play elsewhere. He hits for some power even if he doesn’t get on base. His defense isn’t great, but its liveable in an outfield corner. While there are better players in the league there are plenty of worse ones (Juan Pierre could be our left fielder). We might as well get used to Sori unless Jimbo can find a taker for home without eating a significant portion of his remaining salary (see Wells, Vernon). If that happens Hendry is Exec of the year even if the team sucks and he gets fired….

  8. CubSouth

    I know this sounds crazy and I’m a very optimistic person, but I’m not giving up on this season just yet. We are playing better ball, and if we do gain ground before the All Star break, then I’d like to see how things go. If our division had a runaway team, I would understand but no one is doing that right now. I definitely understand the position we are in, but if we don’t get a year or two away prospects or decent Major League talent for our players trade value then why not keep the guys? I’d hate to see players leave and go to FA without getting someone in return but don’t eat salary or just get rid of them for some no name talent that won’t see Wrigley unless they buy a ticket (high priced at that). Its a tricky situation, I know, but its also 3 weeks to the ASB and there is time for a push, that’s all I want, just don’t throw in the towel 2 and a half months in.

  9. Ramy16

    I really like the play of Lou montanez quade needs to get him more at bats…I would like to see dumpster , fukodummy and throw in koyie hill in trade, bring up Wellington Castillo to replace Hill..I agree with some of you guys about playing the youngsters..also I think if hendry can restructure Ramirez contract that would be great..aramis knows he’s not going to get that type of money on the f/a market..Josh vitters isn’t going to cut it..he’s been been in the minors since 2007 and hasn’t gotten past AA..I know iam beating horse to death..let’s get real..nobody is ready to step in a take over 3rd base and play solid defense like ramy

  10. Ramy16

    Hey Ace I know..but just checking in again..any news on draft day signings yet? Thanks..Ramy 16

  11. The Magicman

    little off topic but before the year started I thought the Cubs should of hired Sandeberg over Quade.

  12. Ramy16

    The way Carlos Pena is hitting the ball..if I were Hendry I would consider a short term deal…his defense is great..I don’t know how many times he’s saved castro and Ramirez ass with all the balls dug out of the dirt