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javier baez aflNational writers, when pontificating, tend to focus on the biggest names out there. The reason should be obvious, given that the idea is to draw interest from the furthest corners, and the knowledge base is usually focused on the biggest names (since national guys, by definition, have to know all 30 teams well). You’re not going to see Ken Rosenthal dedicating an article to a possible Cubs minor league signing, and you probably won’t even see Jayson Stark tweet about a prospect deal.

So when Jon Heyman writes that the Cubs and Marlins could discuss a prospect swap, you listen. It’s just not the kind of thing you usually see written, and, given his presence at this week’s GM Meetings, you’ve gotta figure he’s not just pontificating.

Heyman discusses the possibility that the Cubs and Marlins could get together on a rare prospect-for-prospect swap involving one of the Cubs’ top four positional prospects – Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Albert Almora, and Jorge Soler – and a topline pitching prospect from the Marlins. Heyman says that “officials” from both teams agree that there could be something here.

It’s a very interesting report, and surprisingly specific. There’s obviously something to this, even if it’s just extremely exploratory.

That said, I see some significant hurdles. First of all, each of the Cubs’ Big Four is considered a top 20/30 prospect in baseball, and, generally speaking, elite positional prospects are guarded more jealously than pitching prospects, due to the additional risk associated with the latter. Second, I’m not so sure the Marlins’ ample stable of young arms – setting aside Jose Fernandez, who isn’t going anywhere – matches up very well with the Cubs’ big bats, especially on a one-to-one basis.

And then there are the specific problems with each of The Big Four. Bryant, a 2013 draftee, is not eligible to be traded until midseason. Soler is the holder of a $30 million contract, which would make him one of the better paid Marlins. Almora is reputed to be a front office darling, and one whom it’s very hard to see them trading for anything. And then there’s Baez, who has emerged as a top 10 prospect in the game.

Unless the Cubs were going to try and pick up multiple arms for one of these guys, I don’t see an equal value situation. And, even then, the Cubs have plenty of mid-rotation prospect depth. What they’re missing is an elite, high-level pitching prospect who is ready to step in within a year or two. You can read Heyman’s piece for some of the young pitching names, but I’d need a little more information on exactly what is being discussed – if anything – to make heads or tails of this.

Best guess? Someone mentioned the possibility to Heyman (on a hunch), and Heyman started asking hypotheticals. Each of the Cubs and Marlins said, sure, we’d consider discussing something (because you always consider things). And that’s about all there is. Prospect trades are extremely rare for a number of reasons, not the least of which is simple: you know your guys a whole lot better than the other team. And vice versa. It’s tough to find common ground.

Still, it’s interesting. This time of year always is.

  • EB

    There will be a mass extinction before this ever happens.

  • FullCountTommy

    Soler for Heaney, Nicolino, + then sure I’m interested. Other than that, no thanks

  • TulaneCubs

    Agreed about the mid-rotation depth, the only thing that makes sense is if you were swapping for Heaney, who I think is probably a top 30-40 prospect. Even then, the Cubs might need another arm included to cover the injury risk to Heaney. Heaney for Soler might make sense, but the contract that Soler has might make it difficult. Wonder if the Marlins would consider something like Vogelbach, Alcantara and a lower ranked prospect for Heaney.

  • Kevin F.

    The only possible logic behind this, to me anyway, is the Cubs decided there is or will very soon be a logjam on the left side of the infield and they want to cash in one on Baez. Trading an everyday player as offensively skilled as any of the 4 for a pitcher, his performing 30 times a season and all that is involved in simply being a player exposed to arm injury would be folly. I’m also hoping Cub brass is falling prey to the a “grass is greener….” scenario.

  • Spoda17

    I see no chance this would actually happen… I think it would be suicide for Theo to do anything like this unless he gets a major league ready ace in return. The fan base is tolerant because we have the “big” four, but if we trade for an unknown to the fan base… public suicide for Theo.

    • JulioZuleta

      If you start worrying about what the fans think, you end up sitting with them. (That being said, I agree that there is probably not a match to be had. Not for Baez at least).

      • Spoda17

        I agree that you shouldn’t make decisions based on the fans, but the reality of it is that if you continually kick the dog, it’s gunna bite back… if they take the approach of no consideration on what the customer wants, there will be no customers…

    • Voice of Reason

      That same fan base has some in favor of signing Ellsbury or Cano or Choo or Saltamaccia or Young… everyone has their own opinion.

      Theo and Jed obviously need to make the decision that they feel is best for the Cubs to compete in the next couple of years.

  • mdavis

    eh. If we’re talking about a prospect for prospect type deal I don’t see a fit. The Mariners to me are a better fit for that type of a deal with Walker and Hultzen.

    • Miguel

      Not anymore with Hultzen having Rotator Cuff surgery. He will fall pretty far with that injury.

  • JulioZuleta

    Yeah, as soon as I read the article I had the same thoughts. There’s just no good matchup to be had. Realistically, as you said, Baez is the only viable trade option. To get him the Marlins would probably be looking at sending three guys out of the group Heyman listed, and I still don’t know if the Cubs would do it. I don’t think any of those guys project as anything near a #1 starter, and you don’t trade a potential (albeit unlikely) perennial MVP candidate for guys that MIGHT become #3′s.

  • InRizzoWeTrust

    Oh silly Marlins. They need to focus on getting rid of that meth/acid-designed HR smushmortion in center field instead.

    • SH

      I spoke with officials in Chicago FO and apparently that was being discussed as a possible return in a deal for Jackson. Would look mighty fine outside the fence in Kane County…

  • oswego chris

    ahhh…hot stove
    Can we come up with a name for the “Big Four”…not that it’s bad, just might be fun

    just to make a daft Beatles comparsions…I say Bryant and Baez are Lennon/McCartney…Soler is Harrison…and Almora is Ringo

    • DocPeterWimsey

      I’d stay away from the Beatles: the Cubs farm system produces too many Pete Bests.

      How about Frodo, Samwise, Merry & Pippin? And I have no idea who is who. (Of course, that might be because Tolkien never put the words “character” and “development” together….)

      • oswego chris

        Pete Best!…I love it…I did say it was daft

        I am not much of a LOTR guy…
        if not the Beatles…how about the Monkees?

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Hmmm, somehow a bunch of guys who were pretending to be musicians instead of actually being them seems to leave the wrong impression! (I seem to recall Micky Dolenz suggesting that expecting the Monkees to be a real band was like expecting to Leonard Nimoy being a real Vulcan!)

          How about the Clash?

    • CubsFaninMS

      Here are some suggestions:

      ABBS (Almora, Bryant, Baez, Soler) or BABS

      Bryez Salmora

      Bryler Almorez

      Salmora and the Twin B’s

  • dumbledoresacubsfan

    Soler for Heaney and Nicolino
    Barney, Black, Ha for Domonic Brown (?)
    Samardzija and Schierholz to Arizona….

    • YourResidentJag

      So, what’s the equivalent that we could get from the Astros from Soler? You know, so we don’t have to face him as much. :)

      • dumbledoresacubsfan

        Asher Wojciechowski?
        Nick Tropeano?

        Maybe?

        • dumbledoresacubsfan

          Actually, no. I’d ask for more. Either one more arm with both of them or drop Tropeano for someone a little better.

          What if we just dropped a bomb and gave Samardzija, Castro, and Soler to Miami for Stanton, Heaney, and Conley? hahaha

          • YourResidentJag

            Yeah, while we’re in the land of WILD speculation….. :)

            • dumbledoresacubsfan

              May as well, right? It gives me a good laugh–that’s for sure.

              • DocPeterWimsey

                Well, use your “Accio” spell and “get it done!”

          • Voice of Reason

            The Marlins don’t want to take on the financial commitment of Soler. PLUS, they would have to sign Shark to an extension or I guess they could trade him, but why?

            • Rebuilding

              Soler is not a big financial commitment if their scouts think he projects as a MLB regular. It’s peanuts now. The Marlins are not poor, they were the most profitable team in baseball, have a ton of TV money and their revenue sharing take is more than their payroll. Just 2 years ago they had a payroll around $100 million

              • Voice of Reason

                If that’s the case then why don’t they just extend Stanton?

                • Rebuilding

                  From Rotoworld: “MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro writes that the Marlins are expected to approach Giancarlo Stanton with a “hefty” contract proposal.

                  It comes on the heels of general manager Dan Jennings saying during an interview Sunday that Stanton is “not available” for trade this offseason. It’s been reported that Stanton would not accept a multi-year deal from the Marlins, which is no surprise after he was critical of management following last offseason’s fire sale. However, as Frisaro notes, things can always change if they offer enough money. Stanton will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. Nov 3 – 3:13 PM”

  • Jiujitsu411420

    How bout Starlin plus prospects for Stanton plus prospects……let’s just make it a big one ;)

    • D-Rock

      I was typing my post as you were typing the same thing. Great Cubs minds think alike. Get the deal done and it will be a Merry Christmas!

    • Ken

      Stanton, LoMo & Heaney for Castro, Soler, Vogelbach & Alcantara

      • Professor Snarks

        LoMo = Ian Stewart…..NO thank you.

        • On The Farm

          Yeah, but at least LoMo is funny on twitter

          • Professor Snarks

            It’s only funny when he is NOT on your team.

            As a player, his offensive profile is almost the same as Ian’s. He’s a lefthanded headcase that has had 1 good power year. Yech.

            • On The Farm

              I don’t know when he tweeted when the entire Marlins team was getting traded I would have laughed. It probably would have made me feel good to know that the players are just as frustrated as I am with management.

  • jj

    The only way a Baez trade should even be considered would be if the Marlins agreed to part with at least 3-5 of the pitchers named, with at least one of them on the MLB roster. I’m still not certain I’d do it and I’m positive the Marlins wouldn’t either. The highest ranked minor league pitcher listed was Heaney – well below the Cubs four prospects.

  • TK

    Baez, Alcantera & Castro . . . I could see 1 being traded for a young SP. Vogelbach has always been thought of as not fitting in with this organization. I’m curious whether Stanton could be included in a trade involving Baez.

  • Brian Peters

    Superb summary and analysis as always, Brett! You helped to allay my concerns, irrational as they may have been.

  • Jim

    Isn’t it the “Big Five” now that CJ Edwards has moved into the #3 position? The only one I would not explode over being dealt is Soler and even he is ranked above the Marlin players. Andrew Heaney is appealing if in the right kind of deal.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The Big Four are the positional guys. Edwards is just Edwards. Because he’s swell.

      • cub2014

        Brett,
        Do you think we could get:(give or take a few
        prospects)
        1. Samardizja & Schierholtz for Bradley,Skaggs & Bell
        2. Soler for Heaney
        3. Barney,Sweeney,Ha & Black for Dom Brown?
        If we could our future starters would look awfully good.

        *whats the deal with Brown why are the Phillies wanting
        to get rid of him?

        • Rebuilding

          Not Brett, but IMHO:

          (1) Not a chance
          (2) Probably
          (3) Not sure why the Phil’s would want some of those guys
          (4) Brown is a strikeout machine and really struggled once the league figured out you don’t have to throw him a strike

          • cub2014

            Rebuild,
            I think Samardizja with a little help could
            bring back Bradleyb (Garza-Archer Garza-
            Edwards Shields-Myers). I too agree on
            Soler.
            As far as Brown they need a platoon
            Lefty outfielder and a utility infielder and
            granted they would need some prospects to
            fill that trade. (by the way Brown struck out
            at 19% and was a 15% K guy in the minors)
            so those numbers are actually pretty good
            numbers

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Can’t we call Edwards the “Big one” pitching prospect…hopefully a couple more will join him so we can call them the “Big 3″ or “Big 4″ pitching prospects, and then the “Big 10″ Cubs prospects.

        • ssckelley

          Not me, we all seen the BA rankings but that BA writer has been higher on Edwards than others. I would be shocked to see any of the others rank Edwards higher than either Soler or Almora. The durability issues are real, we all want him to be the next Pedro Martinez but the odds are slim that it happens.

          • Eternal Pessimist

            …but hard to find anyone more dominant than Edwards in the minors last year…I think he qualifies, despite the risks.

            • ssckelley

              I know, and I want to see Edwards succeed just as you do. But I cannot jump on the bandwagon just yet until I see him pitch more than 116 innings in a season and at a higher level than A+. But perhaps some of the other writers will agree with BA, I have not read that yet.

  • D-Rock

    How bout Stanton and Hernandez for Soler, Castro and PTBNL?

  • N.J. Riv

    Just wait a couple years for the Marlins to sell them all off.

  • Rebuilding

    As long as we are throwing mud at the wall: I think Soler would be very attractive to the Marlins. His total dollar amount sounds like something, but if he becomes half of what he’s projected it’s VERY team friendly. The Marlins have plenty of money and have a ton or revenue sharing cash coming in. Heaney has the potential to be a #1

    • Jono

      That’s how I see it to, about Soler’s contract actually being fairly team friendly. It just depends if he develops or flops

    • Rebuilding

      In addition, if the Cubs FO sees Bryant eventually in the OF then Soler becomes a bit more expendable. I think the Marlins would love to have a young, exciting Cuban player to sell to their fans. If the FO has identified a Marlins pitching prospect (I assume Heaney who is a lefty, projects as a TOR guy and has been dominating in the AFL) they want I think a deal could make sense for both sides

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Since Soler can opt into arbitration if he’s successful in the bigs, his contract has no more upside than any other prospect, and has the downside of a $30 million guarantee. It is not attractive when compared with other prospects.

      • Jono

        Oh, i didn’t know that he can opt into arbitration. Thanks for the info.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          It isn’t as cheap, but I thought his “opt in” to arbitration was after 3 years in the bigs (or maybe I misheard). Either way, he has to play his way onto the big league team and then settle for arbitration dollars for a few years, which would put him on the cheap side (If he fulfills his destiny – cue darth).

      • Rebuilding

        That wasn’t my point. The point being that the $30 million figure gets tossed around like its an albatross or makes him untradeable. As I said if he becomes half of what he projects then it is VERY team friendly – just like every other prospect

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          And that wasn’t my point. The point being that, judged against the universe of all other offensive prospects, the Marlins could have many more attractive choices who don’t have a large guaranteed contract already.

          • Rebuilding

            If the Marlins like Soler better than other prospects/players they are offered then they wont let $30 mil stand in the way of making a deal. They would likely create enough fan interest in the Cuban community to make that up in jersey sales. I don’t think it’s a coincidence they were reportedly heavy in on Abreu

            • bbmoney

              Jersey sales don’t go directly to the team. Get’s split between all teams as part of revenue sharing.

              No one is saying Soler isn’t valuable. But he’s less valuable in a trade than a similarly rated prospect because of his contract which guarantees him about 20M more than any other prospect. And because he can opt into arbitration you have no chance of saving money either.

              • Rebuilding

                Thanks for the recap. I know all that (you are correct about jersey sales and I should have said community marketing opportunities or just plain old fan interest). My point is that if you had another prospect identical but just on a regular contract Soler might well be more valuable to the Marlins given the makeup of the community and their fan base.

            • Voice of Reason

              There is no way they are taking on Soler’s contract in hopes that he develops. They can roll the dice on cheaper prospects!

              It just won’t happen!

              • Rebuilding

                So you think the Cubs made a bad deal for Soler? I don’t. The Marlins aren’t poor even if they act like it. I hadn’t thought of it before, but once Brett posted the article it makes sense that they would be hungry for a young, exciting Cuban ball player to try and get a Puig type effect. They are desperate to make people forget the shenanigans they just pulled with the new ballpark.

                • Voice of Reason

                  So, if they’re not poor, then why don’t they just extend Stanton?

                  • Rebuilding

                    I already replied to this. MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro writes that the Marlins are expected to approach Giancarlo Stanton with a “hefty” contract proposal.

                    It comes on the heels of general manager Dan Jennings saying during an interview Sunday that Stanton is “not available” for trade this offseason. It’s been reported that Stanton would not accept a multi-year deal from the Marlins, which is no surprise after he was critical of management following last offseason’s fire sale. However, as Frisaro notes, things can always change if they offer enough money. Stanton will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. Nov 3 – 3:13 PM

      • InTheoWeTrust

        Soler is not going anywhere and I don’t really understand why everyone is so quick to part with a guy that has an arm as strong as Puig and is not doing bad in the Arizona Fall League. He might not be tearing it up like Bryant, but not doing bad. I really think Soler could turn out to be a huge star along side Almora (his buddy) in the outfield. I shop Baez and think Theo and Company have definitely thought of this. I know what they said about Baez needing rest as the reason to back out of AFL, but are they resting him to keep his trade value so he didn’t get hurt or regress, maybe? If the price is right I say by by Baez. At this point we are loaded on the infield with prospects and can definitely deal for great value.

    • bbmoney

      It’s a lot less team friendly than a regular contract where a player makes the minimum 450-650k) for his first 3 MLB seasons and then goes to arbitration.

      Soler makes 3M+ each season, even if he’s not in the MLB until he gets to 3 MLB season, then he goes to arbitration like anyone else if he’s been good enough to get a raise. If he isn’t good enough, he still gets paid more than another player who isn’t good enough to get that much in arbitration.

      To put it another way the Cubs still owe Soler 20m+ even if he never makes the show. That’s about 20M more than they’d still owe any other prospect who never makes the show.

  • Frank

    Holy flying monkey turds. You’ve got to be kidding. Even the thought of trading one of the four for a pitching prospect that could blow out his arm at any second is ludicrous. I just hope this is just a dumb ass rumor.

    • ssckelley

      Not just 1, I need at least 2 if not 3 depending on how highly rated the pitching prospects are. This is not as ridiculous of a scenario as it seems. Castro is coming off a bad season offensively, his trade value is lower, and if Baez can stick at shortstop the Cubs don’t need both. If the FO is high on Castro, which they seem to be, trading Baez instead of moving him to another position where he is less valued might be the best scenario and get the Cubs pitching a much needed shot in the arm.

    • cub2014

      Prospects are all a crap shoot. Pitchers more
      so than hitters (pitchers get hurt, hitters cant
      hit) I still like Soler for Haney though. I doubt the
      Marlins would do that unless we throw in some-
      thing else.

      If we get Heaney then Bradley add Edwards,
      Hendricks & Johnson I think we have a potentially
      amazing future rotation.

      • Voice of Reason

        Forget Soler in any deal with the Marlins. They don’t have the money to pay Soler in hopes that he develops. If they’re going to pay millions they want them to be major league ready.

      • InTheoWeTrust

        Plus they are currently overstocked with outfield talent. Stanton, Yelich, and Jake Marisnick and they are all 25 and under with huge upside. They don’t need another young outfielder.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      “Even the thought of trading one of the four for a pitching prospect that could blow out his arm at any second is ludicrous.”

      If you have an MLB ready prospect the risk is similar to signing a veteran pitcher…either can blow out the arm, but the prospect is cheaper. The value is still there.

      I agree if you are referring to lower level pitching prospects. I could be years before/if they arrive, so much more opportunity to blow out the arm…or just suck.

  • Mike

    What about trading a couple two tree of the Cubs prospects who aren’t the top 4 for one Marlins top pitching prospect?

  • Jon

    Not interested in anything unless it nets us Stanton.

  • MightyBear

    Maybe the big time prospect doesn’t include the big 4. Maybe its something like Vogelbach or Alcantara for a pitching prospect. I think Heyman is assuming big 4.

    • Professor Snarks

      That could work. I don’t really know the Marlins positional needs, I’m guessing most , we could fill a few with some of our depth.

      • ssckelley

        Just about every position except for right field (Stanton). To bad Vogelbach was not a little closer because they even need a first baseman. Their AAA team (New Orleans) was brutal for position players, way worse than the Iowa Cubs. They were dead last in the PCL hitting but #1 in the league in pitching.

  • Playoffs!

    I’m getting tired of the trade Starling Castro comments. People it ain’t gunna happen (at least not this offseason). Our ss just got off a career worst season. Do you really think Theo is trading a guy for a low-ball offer, because that’s all he is going to get right now. If you think Castro is a dipshit fine, but enough is enough these Castro trade proposals.

    At first it was funny, but now it’s annoying…

    • cub2014

      Amen Playoffs, why would we sell low?
      Enough said.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        If the Cubs want to make room, Castro will be on the block like everyone else. The Cubs know that Castro had a bad year and hope he is more of the former player than the latter. Any trading partner knows that Castro had a bad year and would hope he is more the former than the Latter.

        Each knows he is probably better than last year and worse than his prior years, though no one knows for sure. They would be able to trade him for that value.

    • YourResidentJag

      Kinda like the Tanaka rumors? We ALL find different annoying about the Cubs these days, it seems.

    • ssckelley

      I agree, and I see a lot of people wanting to insert what they must perceive as “garbage” to avoid giving up Baez. I am sure the Marlin fan is doing the same thing in order to acquire Baez. Then you get the “add value by trading quantity for quality” type deals being suggested. It would be nice to trade our #11-#20 prospects for someone elses #1 but it does not work that way. For these deals to work you have to trade value for value, it might hurt giving up someone like Baez or Bryant (although Bryant cannot be dealt) but the Cubs have a surplus at the infield positions and what they need is pitching.

      • kq

        The cubs arent trading any of the top 4. Heyman herd they may meet for a prospect for prospect swap, so he throws out the top prospects on each team. But if a deal is reached it will be much smaller. So upside arms for vogelbach or alcantara or villanueva.

        • ssckelley

          The Cubs have plenty of upside arms, the lower minors are peppered with them. What they don’t have is top of the line pitching prospects at the higher level. Us Cub fans have got to stop over valuing our prospects, we all love the top 4 but the reality is there is no guarantee that any of them will ever be a productive player. If the Marlins are willing to give the Cubs a few of their top pitching prospects for ONE of the top 4 then the Cubs should listen.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        “It would be nice to trade our #11-#20 prospects for someone elses #1 but it does not work that way. For these deals to work you have to trade value for value, it might hurt giving up someone like Baez or Bryant (although Bryant cannot be dealt) but the Cubs have a surplus at the infield positions and what they need is pitching”

        Marlins #1 prospect does not equal the Cubs #1 prospect, so I think saying the Cubs have to trade value for value and have to give up someone like Baez ignores the fact that the Marlins don’t have a prospect with his value (or Bryant’s, etc…).

        • ssckelley

          I was not suggesting a 1 for 1 deal, if I am trading Baez it would take more than 1 pitching prospect for me to consider it.

  • Dale Jr

    Mark trumbo to the cubs for Jeff samardija
    Plus Castro done deal
    The end

    • Voice of Reason

      Dale Jr,

      You are waaay undervaluing Samardija.

      I like Trumbo, but not in that deal!

      Shark for Trumbo AND… AND….

      • Cub Style

        The Angels don’t have AND

        Plus, we don’t need a first half, platoon player in Trumbo.

        • Voice of Reason

          Trumbo a platoon player?

          He’s clubbed 95 home runs in his first three years in the bigs, that’s a little over 31 per year on average. His batting average has been down, but his OBP is nice and he is 27. And, he’s not making a ton of bread.

          The Angels do have AND’s… we just have to find out which ones we would want!

          • bbmoney

            To be clear a .299 career OBP is nice?

            • DarthHater

              heh

            • Voice of Reason

              “I took the liberty of bullshitting you”

              - Elwood Blues, Blues Brothers

            • ssckelley

              Can he play shortstop or catcher?

          • Rebuilding

            I would MUCH rather get Kole Calhoun if we deal with the Angels

            • Rebuilding

              On Calhoun: He was hitting .354/.431/.617 with 12 home runs and 10 stolen bases in Triple-A at the time of his call-up, and he hasn’t slowed since reaching the majors. In 153 plate appearances since his ’13 debut on July 28, Calhoun has compiled a .384 wOBA and a 148 wRC+. That wOBA ranks 10th amongst outfielders in the second half — just ahead of Giancarlo Stanton, Yasiel Puig and Shane Victorino.

    • bbmoney

      That’s an absurdly terrible deal for the Cubs.

  • D-Rock

    Just read on Rotoworld that the Orioles wanted Shelby Miller for J.J. Hardy but Cards refused. What about a Castro for Shelby Miller trade?

    • Jono

      Castro trade needs to wait until at least next off-season

      • D-Rock

        Why wait because his value is so low? What if it drops even lower by next year? Cards need a SS and Cubs have Baez ready to step in at SS at some point this year hopefully and Cubs are desperate for good young pitching. Trade now makes sense to me. Obviously if Castro turns in an MVP season this year, I will eat these words, but he seems to be regressing and his ceiling doesn’t seem as high even though he is still young.

        • Jono

          because it’s more likely that his value is higher next year. He’s locked in for a long time. It’s unlikely that trading him now would be selling high.

          I’m a huge supporter of trading him next off-season if Baez rips up Iowa and proves that he can stick at SS. I would love to see the Cubs get a top rotation arm and middle of the order lefty bat for Castro. But Baez isn’t there yet and Castro’s value is most likely lower than it will be next year

        • ssckelley

          You do not sell low on a 24 year old shortstop that you have under control through 2020. If another team is interested in Castro I am sure the FO still has a high asking price on him.

          • D-Rock

            Agreed, but a top of the rotation arm like Miller might make them think. Especially with Castro’s mental lapses and off-the-field questionable decisions.

            • ssckelley

              I would be all over Shelby Miller for Castro deal but the Cardinals will never do it.

              • YourResidentJag

                But would the Mets do Syndergaard? I’d be all over that.

            • Edwin

              With Castro’s mental lapses and off-the-field questionable decisions, plus he seems to be regressing and his ceiling doesn’t seem as high even though he is still young, why would the Cardinals trade a pitcher like Miller?

              • Eternal Pessimist

                Castro’s value for trade reflects his lousy 2013 and very good 2011-12, not just his lousy 2013.

                His defensive fielding looked like it had improved last year (dropped 5 errors of his total w/ slightly improved fielding percentage), and there are a lot of “bad” fielding SS in the league, so he still has a lot of value, just not as much as he did after 2012.

                We can hold him another year, but if he doesn’t return to form at the plate, we risk dropping his value. If he returns to form, his value comes up a bit. There is always a risk either way.

                • Edwin

                  I agree. I was just looking at what D-Rock wrote. It seems strange to me to give reasons why his value is so low and why the Cubs should trade him, and then expect him to be traded for a great young arm like Miller.

                  • Eternal Pessimist

                    Agree…Castro’s still got some serious value. I would really like to see what he does under the new manager – in other words, I hope they gamble on his recovery unless they get a great return.

  • Professor Snarks

    A front office that has preached getting impact talent at every turn, drafting higher, IFA market, trade gambles, will not and should not trade potential impact talent for anything less than impact talent.
    If they secretly feel any of the big 4 isn’t really impact talent, then make the trade. Other than Soler, I just don’t see it.

  • CubsFaninMS

    I don’t see this happening, partly for reasons mentioned above. A prospect swap would almost certainly include the Cubs receiving a pitching prospect or two which, as some of you have pointed out, are a higher risk of “flopping” than your position players. This would almost certainly make the risk higher on our side. How can you hedge that risk? Well, you can try to do it with quantity, but when you go with quantity over quality, that rarely pans out in a trade. None of your “quantity” will likely be impact players, whereas the one you traded has a higher potential to be. Also, the names thrown out there by Heyman from the Marlins system do not impress me that much, although admittedly I’m not a scout. Trading prospects for prospects with Florida is a bad idea and it amounts to simple media chatter, IMO. The Orioles, Red Sox, Pirates, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, and Mariners have the high-upside prospect arms that we need. Out of that group, the Orioles, Pirates, Diamondbacks, and Mariners appear to be suitable trading partners and may be looking for a Major League impact piece (Samardzija, Schierholtz, Castro).

  • Jason

    If the Cubs make this deal. They really should deal Soler. Pay some of his contract. I just don’t think this guy has what it takes mentally to be a big leaguer. Hopefully the other three are untouchable. I love what they bring. Especially Almora he’s going to be a great leader one day and I hope it’s with the Cubs.

    • ssckelley

      Have you read any of the comments above in regards to Soler?

      • Jason

        No I haven’t. Why don’t you give me a little summary.

    • Edwin

      How do you measure whether a player is mentally ready to be a big league player? I mean, how do you even know that Almora is going to be a good leader?

      • Jason

        Well heading over to another teams dugout with a bat in your hand and having someone from your team holding you back may be one indication. That he’s mentally weak. Yeah maybe Almora won’t be a great leader. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see, but from everything I see from him he’s a keeper in my book.

  • Joycedaddy

    Before I begin my rant, I just wanted to say that I showed my girlfriend ESPN’s 30 for 30 “Catching Hell,” and I forgot how awful the documentary was. It barely mentions ’69 or ’84, and most of the beginning of the documentary covers the Red Sox’ issues. That being said, man do I feel bad for Steve Bartman. I hope he is brought back to Wrigley when we win. I’m pretty sure WGN or CSN made a much better documentary about the “curse,” do any of you remember what it was called??? Help! Anyways, I have zero interest in trading any of the big four. Each one has their own significance. Personally I’d rather see all 4 of them get their shot on the Cubs and see what’s what, and I would much rather prefer a lesser package of more prospects for one elite pitching prospect. We have so many intriguing hitting prospects I wonder if our lesser prospects could get it done. Players like Alcantra, Vogelbach, Villanueva, Amaya, Candelarieo, etc is what I’m thinking. Do you guys think we could get an elite pitching prospect for a package heavy with Alcantra-esque players or only if we include one of the big four? Final question: who has the better power bat, Miguel Sano or Javier Baez? I think after the past year, Baez wins in a landslide.

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      CSN’s documentary was called “5 Outs” and I agree, it was much better then ESPNs “Catching Hell.”

    • ssckelley

      Of course you would rather “prefer a lesser package of more prospects for one elite pitching prospect”. All Cub fans would rather do this and I am sure the FO would to, I am sure a Marlin fan is saying the same thing about their elite pitching prospects. Quantity over quality does not work, you have to give up quality in order to get back quality. If another team was willing to give the Cubs 2 or 3 of their top pitching prospects in return for one of the Top 4 then I think they should consider it.

  • CubChymyst

    I know it would never happen but it would be awesome if the Cubs could some how squeeze out Yelich from the Marlins. I’d throw in Castro or Baez + Soler if the cubs could get Yelich + two pitchers, but my guess is Yelich is off limits.

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