giancarlo stantonThe Cubs are going to be sellers this trade season. Their woebegone record and beleaguered roster make that all but a certainty.

But there is a chance, and not a terribly small chance, that the Cubs could also be buyers. The time for this front office to acquire players they want for the push into competitiveness is when those players are available. That may not happen precisely when the Cubs (or Cub fans) would want it to, so the front office will no doubt be monitoring buying opportunities as they appear. If someone like Giancarlo Stanton does become available (unlikely as that looks), the Cubs will almost certainly be one of the buyers at the table.

That means some of the Cubs’ prospects could be traded over the next six and a half weeks or so. Even the cream of the farm system could be in the conversation, depending on the deal. After the weekly recap of the farm system we’ll take a look at some of the minor league players who are the most likely to be traded.

Iowa Cubs : 32-36

A surprisingly good week finds the Cubs on the doorstop of .500 and just 2.5 games back of first place. The Cubs have the best home record in the division (take a bow, Iowa fans) and it is on the strength of that home record that they are putting up a fight and trying to catch the Cardinals at the top of the division. Cubs and Cardinals competing through the summer in a division race … there is something just right about that idea. Hopefully this is the harbinger of seasons to come in Chicago..

Tennessee Smokies : 33-34

The Cubs will finish the first half of the season no higher than second place. Despite having two of the biggest breakout stories in the organization on their roster, the Smokies slumped through a first half decimated by injuries (particularly Justin Bour and Jae-Hoon Ha) and inefficiency in the bullpen.

A healthy roster with perhaps a few additions from Daytona should put this time in a good position to make a second half run, though. The postseason is not out of reach by any means.

Daytona Cubs : 33-30

With just a few games to go before the end of the first half, the Cubs are just one game back of first place. The Cubs enjoy the best road record in the division, and their home record is improving. That is no surprise given they may have the most talented offense in the league. It was not that long ago that a first half division title looked out of reach, but suddenly the Cubs are in the thick of it. This could be an exciting week for Daytona fans. Stay tuned.

Kane County Cougars : 29-36

Kane County is falling to an ignominious finish near the bottom of the division. They are no where near contention … or .500 for that matter. The talent on this team is better than the record indicates, but that record does reflect that the Cougars are one of the youngest teams in the league. Team record in the minors often has more to do with experience and age than talent or individual ceilings, so we should not let the lackluster number of wins cast any disparagement on the quality of the players on the roster. This is a loaded team.

And now that they have half a season of experience behind them, I think we will see some better results in the second half. I’m not sure how long some of that talent is going to stay in town, though. There are a handful of mid-seson promotion candidates on this team.

Boise Hawks : 1-1

The Boise Hawks are in action. They have played just two game so the stats do not mean very much just yet, but it is good to see this team finally taking the diamond. The Hawks, along with the Arizona Rookie League Cubs when they get started, will be regular parts of the Daily for the rest of the season.

The AZL Cubs fire up their season on June 20.

Trade Bait

Let me start with a disclaimer: I am not saying these players should be traded, nor am I predicting the Cubs will bundle them up and auction them off for a 43 year old middle reliever and an outfielder who can’t hit. I am also not projecting that they Cubs will be dealing for Stanton, or Cano, or Price, or whatever star is featuring in the latest rumors.

This is just a list of the players that are the most likely to be traded should the right deal emerge.

Javier Baez, SS

It takes value to get value. Quality is not the same thing as quantity.

These basic principles are often overlooked when various trade suggestions are bandied about on the Internet, but when you put them together they very much point to Baez as being one of the prospects most likely to be traded.

All the things that would incline the Cubs to keep him are the same things that other teams will covet. In short, he has value. A lot of value. And teams that are interested in that value will not accept six or ten or fifty lesser prospects as a replacement.

But because Baez has so much value, he will not be dealt for anything less than an impact player in return. Any trade including Baez is bound to be one of the biggest trades of the year, and despite that I think he is one of the most likely to be dealt over the next thirteen months.

Arismendy Alcantara, SS

A fair bit of what I just wrote about Baez applies to Alcantara as well. Shortstop prospects are very valuable commodities, and Alcantara is also near his peak value. I suspect the Cubs will be more inclined to shift Alcantara permanently to second with the idea of making him Barney’s replacement one day. That does not mean all the other teams will agree with that assessment. If someone is interested in him as a shortstop, then the Cubs might find themselves in a situation in which Alcantara is more valuable to another team than he is to the Cubs.

Brett Jackson, OF

Jackson is both young enough and has enough utility as a defensive outfielder now that I think someone would be interested in taking a gamble on him. At worst he is a quality fifth outfielder, one who can play average or better defense in any of the three outfielder slots and will do very well as a pinch runner. His bat, while lacking consistent contact, should still play well off the bench in the right situations. In short, he’d be a nice, young bench player with upside for a contender with an eye on the future. For the Cubs, the alternative is to keep him on the gamble that he’ll learn to make more consistent contact. Between those two options, the trade route will almost certainly return the Cubs move value. I think we’ll hear Jackson’s name mentioned quite a bit this summer.

Zach Rosscup, LHP

Rosscup is a lefty reliever having a fantastic season in Double A. Players like that can be valuable to a lot of teams, and so I think he will be requested as a part of a package in many potential deals. I think the Cubs may be more reluctant to part with him (because lefty relievers that do well in Double A are nice to have), but in the right deal he could certainly be gone.

Kyler Burke, LHP

Burke has done well since being converted into a pitcher by the Cubs, but unfortunately converting a player into a pitcher takes time. That means the Cubs are rapidly approaching the date when they will have to place him on the 40 man roster or risk losing him in the Rule 5 draft. I’m not sure the Cubs can afford the roster slot for him; I think they’ll deal him rather than risk losing him for nothing. The value here is not terrifically high, but Burke is a pitcher with potential. He would be a nice sweetener in a larger deal.

Rubi Silva, OF

Silva has shown a lot of power this season in Double A, but he is not much of a contact hitter and his walk rate is anemic. In short, he does not fit the profile of player the Cubs are likely to value highly. There are other teams, though, who might see Silva differently and would be interested in adding Silva’s .270 batting average and .491 slugging percentage to their farm system.

Zeke DeVoss, 2B/OF

DeVoss is a patient hitter with plenty of speed on the base paths, but he is also trapped at two of the deepest positions in the organization. Speedy prospects seem to be fairly popular inclusions in trades over the past few seasons, and that suggests that this type of player is one teams are willing to take a gamble on in deals. DeVoss will not bring a high value on his own, but he is another who could be a quality inclusion in a larger deal.

And Finally…

Happy Father’s Day, everyone.

And especially to those of you lucky enough to have your dads nearby. I see my dad maybe four or five times a year now that I’ve moved to the East Coast, and that is about three hundred and sixty times too rarely for my taste.  Enjoy that proximity while you have it; you never know when things can change.

If any of you are still looking for last minute Father’s Day presents, might I suggest tickets to your local minor league game? No matter what teams are on the field, minor league games tend to be a great time for all involved.

  • John

    Thanks Luke- enjoy father’s day. I lost mine almost 3 years ago. I get to enjoy it with my children now- but you still miss your dad- even when you are in your 50’s- Thanks again for all the write ups. I enjoy them very much.

  • Oswego chris

    Thank you for the quality vs. Quantity statement….I see this all of the time on BN…let’s trade Jackson, Vitters, Lake, Szcur, Casey Coleman, for David Price…

    No, that’s not how it works…it reminds me how when Bulls fans were talking about trading for Kobe Bryant like ten years ago….and I would say ” The Lakers would not take the entire Roster for Kobe”…

    Giancarlo Stanton would require Baez, Almora or Soler…and we would still have to add a quality player or two

    • King Jeff

      I don’t know, I think most of the people that post those kind of trades have been shamed into not doing it anymore.

    • JY

      Oswego……Do you think the Cubs would pull the trigger in that deal? Baez, Almora and more?? I just started following minor league ball and all three show great promise at lower levels, but at what level should you really get excited about these prospects? AA or AAA? I guess a prospect could dominate high A and not make it in AA or AA?

      • Jp3

        I don’t think Chris meant all 3, I think he meant Baez and one or the other of the 2. But I don’t know for sure.

      • Oswego chris

        Yes I believe I put an or in there…not all…

        But u would have to give one up…which I wouldn’t do it for Stanton at this point

        • Jp3

          You wouldn’t give one of those for Stanton? I’d do it in a heartbeat but I can understand your reservations. I’d probably give Soler up before the other 2

  • Stevie B

    No shame in this trade prosal.
    Castro for Stanton straight up.
    I’d pull the trigger on that today.

    • Austin

      Miami wouldn’t.

    • Rich H

      If you are trading Castro then you had better be sure that Baez is the real deal at short stop. Because Baez still is not above A+ ball I think that He or Alcantara is more likely to be moved.

      • AD

        Trading Castro doesn’t make sense until at least the offseason, if it even makes sense then. The guy is only 23. Lets let hime develop and see how he does in a better lineup. Some guys just take longer to mature.

    • Justin

      Castro, makes $8 Million a yr. I really don’t know how attractive he would be to a cheap team like Miami. The Rays and and Marlins are so cheap they’re all about looking for value in rookie contract guys. Plus, he’s playing like absolute ass these days which isn’t going to help anything either..

      • King Jeff

        Spot on with the money issue. The Marlins are still looking to cut payroll by shopping Nolasco and possibly Logan Morrison and others. Their M.O. is to add prospects, not major league players on more than minimum contracts.

        • Rich H

          Great point. With Baez and Soler already having major league contracts does that make him less valuable to team like the Rays or Miami? If so does that make Alcantara or Almora more valuable?

          • Luke

            Baez does not have a major league contract.

          • Rich H

            Oh that is right he was invited to major league camp this year. My bad. Just remembered him in camp this spring and thought he was on the 40 man.

          • hansman1982

            Doesn’t matter how valuable Almora is to anyone, he isn’t eligible to be traded for a full year after he signed.

            • Rich H

              That is only a couple weeks away.

      • Dynastyin2017

        He’s playing poorly. Maybe calling him an ass may be taking it too far. Have a good father’s day.

        • Justin

          I didn’t call Castro an ass. Come on now… I said he’s playing like ass. Which he is. I am a Castro fan, but he’s had a horrible start to the year. I really hope he turns it around though.

  • Justin

    To get Stanton I think the Cubs are looking at Baez, Almora, and a guy like Alcantara. I like Stanton, he’s a stud obviously, but is it me or does it seem like he gets hurt a ton for a younger player. I really don’t see him aging well. Also, I don’t think Soler has a lot of trade value. He makes a lot of money for a prospect, and I don’t see the Marlins or Rays paying a guy in High A $3 Mill a yr.

    • Rich H

      You are talking about 3 top 100 prospects with 2 of them being in the top 20 for one oft injured player. Not saying it would not take that just making sure you understand the value you are putting on Stanton.

      • Justin

        I didn’t say the Cubs should do the trade. I was just spelling out the minimum it would take to aquire him. And actually I could see it taking more. I was the one that actually pointed out there is a good amount of risk in trading for Stanton, because he get’s banged up a lot. Plus I am sure it will take a massive extension to keep him around. Giving up several top prospect and paying a massive salary to a guy who is frequently hurt, would scare me off from making the deal if i was the Cubs. But at the same time I wouldn’t be heart broken if they did it.

    • Dynastyin2017

      I’m with you here. Obviously you have to go for a Stanton because he has the ability to change games, but he does come with a lot of red flags. I know that trading some of our better prospects will happen (I has a sad), but If we’re trading two of our stud guys, we should go for two good guys vs. one great guy.

  • Steve124

    I personal think we could get up to 3 top 150 prospects if we package deals correctly or atleast 2 which could also be packaged towards a Stanton deal. These could really help propel a deal or atleast make selling Baez slightly less painful.

  • AD

    Great thoughts about value over quaintly. We cetainly hope that Lake, Vitters, and Jackson turn out to be productive players, but right now they are no more than quantity guys. High risk, decent reward type guys. I also think buying at the deadline is interesting. Although I would want an extension signed before the trade in any deal.

  • JoeyCollins

    Just this morning i was thinking about some of the young guys who might get traded this year, and I honestly hope the Cubs do. With our 40-man being as tight as it is we need to clear space, and bundling some of the Jackson or Sczur type players with guys on the MLB roster to increase value might do both. I’d love to see a Feldman trade that the Cubs add a Matt Sczur type to increase the Value.

  • Idaho Razorback

    Happy Fathers day to all the dads out there. I just got off the phone with my dad. He shot a 70 yesterday, his age. Wow! Good for you dad.

  • Blublud

    I know everybody talks about it, but I don’t know if Theo and comp. Are really all that interested in Stanton or Price. If they are, Price probably over Stanton. I think they may be content to let the core of Baez, Soler, Almora, Alcantara, Vogelbach (NL DH possibility) and Bryant, if signed, play their way through the system and see what kind of lineup they could have. Think how valuable they are now, then think how valuable they are in 2-3 years when they are all in the bigs.

  • sven-erik312

    They should lay off the kids. Ship Castro off to an AL team as a DH and extra infielder for prospects.

    • Cyranojoe

      Die hard, I think you forgot to change your name…

    • DarthHater

      Good idea. Castro would have much more value as a DH than he has as a shortstop. 😛

    • Jp3

      Everyone wants a DH that can’t hit for average or power. Maybe we can get a top 20 Overall prospect at least

    • Cub Style

      This comment makes me want a lobotomy.

  • Segal27

    I really really really hope they don’t trade Jackson. He has too many tools to not turn it around. I know from experience that it takes a lot of time to get used to a new batting stance or swing. I just think he needs more time or needs to be up with Dale helping him everyday.

    • cms0101

      His new batting stance is producing the same results. I hate to say it, but Jackson is a 4th OF, maybe a platoon player at the major league level. He won’t be what we were hoping for when he got to AA. He’s stalled out in AAA and he’s going to be 25 in August. He might be a productive major league player, but he’s not going to be the star centerfielder we thought he was going to be.

  • Brandon

    I’m not trading for anything but prospects right now…the mlb team is horrible, there are some good prospects in the minors and people want to trade some of them for one player, one player will not help this team…I’m seeing Andre Dawson all over again,MVP,last place team,nothing to look foward to. Wait until the minor leagues start to produce for the majors, then start looking at thoes types of trades,now is not the time.

    • nkniacc13

      I think they are talking about moving some of the players to increase the better prospect haul. With teams holding prospects so much and not getting a draft pick if a rented player leaves teams have now started to include a prospect or player with another year on contract to increase the return.

    • Dynastyin2017

      I know what you are saying Brandon, but elite players rarely come available. When they do, you have to look into it.

      • Brandon

        Oh I know, been a Cub fan for 40 years now but we finally have something in the minors, trading away top minor league talent when you suck for one awesome player/talent just doesn’t make any sence to me at all. If/when we are ready to compete I wouldn’t care at all, but like I said one player will not help this team, get rid of top minor league talent, who is going to be playing with him?

        • nkniacc13

          true but would you trade a Jackson or vitters in a deal with Garza or Feldman to get a top 100 player and another B+ prospect instead of trading Feldman by himself and getting a C+ prospect?

          • Brandon

            I’m talking about trading our elete prospects to get Stanton or Price, right now when we are no where a division title much less a WS. If we do that we are back to square 1 but will have an elete player making $20+mil a season on a losing team. I’m not saying trading all prospects are bad, I agree if you can package up 2nd tier prospects in a deal you do it, I’m saying right now with the MLB team a mess, you do not or should not trade top MiLB talent for 1 player(elete) player that will put up great numbers on a team made up with what we have now, a team filled with AAAA +AAA talent with few exceptions.

            • Dynastyin2017

              A pretty average Tigers team, with a good farm system, saw an opportunity to trade their best prospects for what they thought was an impact talent. Then they signed a few free agents, graduated other minor leaguers and are now an elite team. I am not saying Stanton is as good as Cabrera, just that you have to look at the possibility. (btw, if Texas really wants Stanton as much as rumors say they do, we won’t have a chance, so this discussion becomes moot).

              • Brandon

                Look at the free agents we are signing(other than Jackson)and there is no money…add a player + high$ extension-Soriano=Same ol’ situation with a MVP player/no help/and no impact players for a few more years,when they are ready…and around we go.

  • willis

    Pierce Johnson having himself a fine day on the mound today.

    • nkniacc13

      he cant be long for kane county

  • #1lahairfan

    Appel signed for 6.35 million.

  • #1lahairfan

    Josh Davis signed.