After starting the trading season with a bang by trading their two best trade assets in Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, the Chicago Cubs have since been relatively quiet. This year was thought to be yet another very active trade deadline for the Cubs, but aside from the initial trade, the Cubs have not been able to strike any more deals.
There have been rumblings of many of the Cubs being potentially traded such as James Russell, Carlos Villanueva, Justin Ruggiano, Emilio Bonifacio, Luis Valbuena, Nate Schierholtz, and Wesley Wright, but nothing has materialized. In fact, according to Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs have been considering keeping both Valbuena and Ruggiano as they would provide a veteran presence for the young prospects that are soon to arrive.
Although the Cubs have plenty of players available, even if they were to move any of the players mentioned above it would not be a very significant move. With the trade of Samardzija and Hammel together, that meant the Cubs would be much more reserved heading up to the deadline than first thought. The Cubs may have traded away their two best assets, but I ultimately do not think that they are done.
Recently the Cubs designated Gold Glove second baseman Darwin Barney for assignment. Although Barney has struggled immensely with the bat, his glove is so good that I believe that Cubs will be able to find a place for Barney and he will ultimately be traded. Trading Barney would be the best case scenario for both sides as it would provide him with a fresh start and the Cubs with a clean slate.
A move that I feel will happen sooner or later, is the Cubs trading Russell. It has been consecutive years that he has been involved in trade rumors, and this year seems like the ideal year to trade him. There are over 15 teams that are in realistic playoff contention, and of those teams an extra bullpen arm could be the difference between playing in October or watching from home. Therefore, it is a very realistic scenario that Russell does get traded before the July 31st trade deadline.
Despite the fact that I feel the Cubs will make more moves, even if they were to stand pat, this trading season can be viewed as successful. The Cubs tried to reach an agreement with Samardzija, and when they felt they could not, they were able to move him and get an elite prospect in Addison Russell in return. Although the prospect was not the pitching that was said to be the focus, it happened to be one of the best and most promising young shortstops in the minor leagues.
Given the nature of the game and the desperation that teams show when the deadline approaches, it’s safe to say the Cubs will be involved in numerous trade talks. With all of the players that the Cubs have available, they are bound to trade someone.