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Trading The Core


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#1 JungleDrew

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 02:23 AM

  So there has been a lot of discussion about the Cubs core players, of which, the two most seemingly untouchable players are Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro. However, being untouchable also means they are the two players that the Cubs would insist upon getting the best return. I don't want to see either of these guys go, but with a huge need for front line starting pitching I can't help but think that trading one, or both, of these guys would be the best way to get it.

 

Castro is already a two-time All-Star shortstop signed to a team friendly deal through 2020 ($70 mil).  He has a slash line in his Major league career of .283/.322/.404 so far, and he is already worth 7.1 WAR (Baseball-Reference). 

 

Rizzo is a left-handed power hitting first baseman with long term 30HR/100RBI potential. He is also signed to an equally team friendly contract of $70 mil through 2021 (assuming both options are exercised).  He has a MLB career slash line of .237/.323/.416, and he is currently worth 4.4 WAR in his time with the Cubs. 

 

Both have the ability to play a full 162 game season, both are still very young for the Majors, and both have a replacement waiting in the minors already (Baez and Vogelbach). 

 

There isn’t much history for trading a young positional player with face of the franchise potential, but the 2007 Miguel Cabrera trade seems like a good blue print.  The Tigers gave up six players including their #1, 2, 6, and 8 prospects (Baseball America), including first round draft picks Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller, for Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis.

 

So with that in mind, my criteria for a good suitor would be a team with need at the position, without a prospect of their own readily available, and preferably a top tier pitching AND catching prospect (The Cubs areas of need) available in return. While neither Rizzo nor Castro is Miguel Cabrera, I think the return for either should be 3 top 10 organizational and a high risk/ceiling pitcher. 

 

My top suitors for Rizzo:

 

 The Mets have organizational top 10 C Kevin Pawlecki blocked by Travis d'Arnaud, and 2 top tier starting pitchers in Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero, either of which would slot in as the top pitching prospect in our system. I know the Mets are rebuilding as well, so they are least likely to give up the goods.

 

  The Red Sox (seriously) could be the best partner. Rizzo was originally traded because the Red Sox thought they were getting their franchise first baseman in Adrian Gonzalez. So trading him back would make sense. Then Mike Napoli could come right over to the Cubs as a stop gap until Vogelbach is ready. And giving up one (or maybe two) of Allen Webster, Henry Owens, Matt Barnes or Anthony Renaudo would not even be considered “mortgaging the future.” Adding in either Blake Swihart or Jon Denney (January trade PTBNL) would fulfill our organizational catcher need.

 

  The Pirates need a first baseman, but are maybe the worst match on prospects based on my criteria.  There is little chance of seeing Gerrit Cole or Jameson Taillon, but getting three guys from the top 20 out of Pittsburgh would be like getting 3 out of the top 10 in most other organizations, so whoever comes over in a trade with them would stand a good chance of future goodness.

 

Top for Castro:

 

The Yankees are aging. Derek Jeter is looking to move to DH in a more full time roll. They may not re-sign Cano, so Castro would could play short or second for them.  Top level prospects are thin for the requirement I set forth, but C Gary Sanchez, along with reclamation project Manny Banuelos, and this year’s 1st rounder Ian Clarkin (PTBNL) seems like a good start. 

 

The Padres have less need for a short stop, but they have the prospects I think best fit the need.  Everth Cabrera could be facing some serious regression coming off the roids, forcing a need.  If so, Max Fried and Austin Hedges would be an amazing return.  We already know that the Padres front office is willing to trade with the Cubs pretty freely, so there is a likelihood it could happen.

 

The Mariners have a glut of top level pitching prospects, and so far have not been able to make a middle infielder stick at the bigs, so Castro could be perfect. They may not have the catching prospect the Cubs need, but we do have Welington Castillo who will fill the need for the foreseeable future

 

  If you think I'm overvaluing our guys, keep in mind, in that same Cabrera trade, Maybin & Miller weren’t just the two best prospects in Detroit’s system, they were #s 6 & 10 overall (Baseball America), so it isn’t unreasonable to expect a couple of top 50 overall prospects as part of the package for either of these guys.

 

  So, I think it would be possible to trade one or both of these guys before the start of 2014 and get the kind of return that would make the Cubs even more competitive in 2015.

 

2015 Line Up And Rotation (assuming Rizzo back to Red Sox and Castro to Mariners)

 

1. RF Choo (btw I think we should sign Choo)

2. LF Soler

3. SS Baez

4. 3B Bryant

5. 1B Vogelbach

6. CF Junior Lake unitl Almora Gets His Call Up

7. 2B Alcantara

8. C Blake Swihart & Welington Castillo splitting

 

 

SP Travis Wood

SP Shark (signed Extension)

SP James Paxton or Taijuan Walker

SP Allen Webster or Henry Owens

SP Pierce Johnson or CJ Edwards

CL Aroldys Vizcaino

 

And there will be plenty of pitchers to slot into the the back end of the roation/bullpen.  And Szczur, Olt, Vitters, Bjax, Villanueva, Ha, and Watkins (amoung others) are all still part of the organization to plug in as fill-ins, stop-gaps, and utility positions.

 

 



#2 fromthemitten

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 11:17 AM

I almost stepped on a crack pipe in the parking lot at work today, was it yours?



#3 MichiganGoat

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 11:27 AM

Oh these outlandish trade scenarios... I guess if we couldn't dream and play fantasy GM what would we do.

Seriously you do realize that right now Castro's value is really low to a trade partner.

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#4 JungleDrew

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 12:16 PM

There is a reason why young team star are rarely traded, because it is hard to nail down a value to them.  I was just trying to give an example of what they could be worth.  Remember some of the GMs out there are old school and view established big leaguers as a better commodity than minor league potential...

 

And I don't think Castro's value is ruined as of yet, one bad year is not going to cause his market to crash. In fact it might be better to try and find a taker now before it really does happen.

 

I almost stepped on a crack pipe in the parking lot at work today, was it yours?

 

And I really enjoyed all the effort and research that went into your rebuttal....



#5 MichiganGoat

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 12:38 PM

JungleDrew we're just busting you chops and breaking yr balls here. I do think that playing armchair GM is a silly exercise and these types of post will result in some rebuttal. Roll with the punches, you'll enjoy the board more.

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#6 JungleDrew

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 12:43 PM

JungleDrew we're just busting you chops and breaking yr balls here. I do think that playing armchair GM is a silly exercise and these types of post will result in some rebuttal. Roll with the punches, you'll enjoy the board more.

 

I know... I was just hoping for some kind of a response indicating what others thought would be a justified return for one of these guys... 

 

How seriously can you really take me anyway... my profile pic is me dressed as a unicorn....



#7 fromthemitten

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 01:18 PM

yeah no malice behind it but I really did find a crackpipe (or meth?  definitely not the sort of pipe you'd smoke weed out of) in the parking lot today. stay classy, LA



#8 jkppkj

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 05:01 PM

Re: Crackpipes and LA, I'll trade you for the heroin needles I regularly pick out of the soles of my shoes when I take my trash out behind the house (Keep it classy Baltimore)  Although, when people ask me why I hate Baltimore so much I typically offer the explanation that out of the 15 or so cities that I've spent more than a few days in in this country LA is then only city I would possibly rank below Baltimore... but I digress before I even start.

 

With no malice intended, I think you have to be a bit high to think that Vogelbach, Alcantara, Baez, Soler, Almora, and Bryant will all develop into major league performers.  It could happen, but prospects get derailed for so many reasons it's a bit beyond optimism to think that at least one of them won't turn out to be Felix Pie or some such garbage.  From a probability stand point, even if we gave each of them a (generous) 75% chance of succeeding you're looking at a  <20% chance that they all make it.

 

Castro is tarnished, I think with his value at this point it would a great deal to net something like Mike Olt and Brett Jackson in return, i.e. two prospects with upside who were once highly regarded but have serious questions.  There are legitimate questions about his focus and maturity - at this point he's more likely to be sent back to AAA than he is to net a pair of top 100 prospects.

 

Miguel Cabrera already had established himself as an elite performer in Florida by the time of his trade, he was a 24 year old 4 time All-Star with 138 career homeruns, an OPS over .900, and a pair of SIlver Slugger awards.  Castro obviously is no where in that neighborhood at this point and Rizzo may not be capable of hitting lefties and doesn't even put up numbers against righties that can hold a candle to the numbers Cabrera was putting up when he was young.  There's something about being elite that really elevates a player's value, well beyond reason.  I think Rizzo and Castro both have the potential to be really good players, but not elite.

 

I think the Cabrera trade illustrates the opposite side of the value in having a ton of prospects.  If a young, elite player who has a 4 year track record comes available I think the Cubs would be better suited to pile 4 prospects together to go get that elite player.  Against the better advice of the billy goat let's do a little armchair GM'ing on the other side; would I be happy with trading Almora, Vogelbach, Alcantara, Bryant and Pierce Johnson for Mike Trout?  Indeed, I would, even if 2 or 3 of those guys developed into really good players.  

 

In short, I don't think you'll get guys who have much more of a ceiling than Rizzo or Castro in return, maybe you turn the pair of them into 3 or 4 younger prospects with similar ceilings.  Planning on all of your current prospects making it is foolish (see Castro and Rizzo 2013 for verification), and Castro and Rizzo are young enough that they might as well be thought of as prospects in any case.



#9 Luke

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:20 PM

Seriously you do realize that right now Castro's value is really low to a trade partner.

 

Not so sure of that.  



#10 MichiganGoat

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:32 PM

Seriously you do realize that right now Castro's value is really low to a trade partner.

 
Not so sure of that.
I should clarify more, yes he does have value to many teams BUT the value the Cubs are wanting in a return right now has got to be dimished.

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#11 SlamminSammy

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 12:31 PM

If Mike trout were available I'd say anaheim can pick any 8 players they want from the cubs, not even joking



#12 Patrick G

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 02:57 PM

If Mike trout were available I'd say anaheim can pick any 8 players they want from the cubs, not even joking


Barney , Sweeney, Bougesevic, Valbuena, Ransom, Watkins, Jackson, Gregg :)

#13 jkppkj

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 05:21 PM

 

If Mike trout were available I'd say anaheim can pick any 8 players they want from the cubs, not even joking


Barney , Sweeney, Bougesevic, Valbuena, Ransom, Watkins, Jackson, Gregg :)

 

 

I'm not sure you can find a player on the  Angels 40 man that they'd swap for that.



#14 JungleDrew

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 07:08 PM

 

 

If Mike trout were available I'd say anaheim can pick any 8 players they want from the cubs, not even joking


Barney , Sweeney, Bougesevic, Valbuena, Ransom, Watkins, Jackson, Gregg :)

 

 

I'm not sure you can find a player on the  Angels 40 man that they'd swap for that.

 

Do you think if we agreed to eat most of Pujols contract they would give us Trout? We wouldn't actually need to get Pujols as a part of this trade... everytime I type Pujols I giggle.... Pujols



#15 jkppkj

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 11:12 AM

If Mike trout were available I'd say anaheim can pick any 8 players they want from the cubs, not even joking

 

Baez, Edwards, Alcantara, Soler, Bryant, Almora, Samardzija, Wood?






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