If The Cubs Become Sellers

At 5-9, the Cubs have fallen to four games back of the Cardinals in the NL Central.  With over 90% of the season remaining, they've got plenty of time to right the ship.  Still, let's take a look at who might be available if they don't.

If the Cubs decide to punt on the 2010 season at some point, I don't think it'd be a full-blown rebuild.  Well-paid righties Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster should be part of the 2011 rotation (though Z is headed for the 'pen on Friday), and I'd be surprised to see either traded.  Aramis Ramirez has said he'll think about his '11 player option after the season; I don't see a midseason trade happening.

Right fielder Kosuke Fukudome could be shopped; we learned earlier this month that the Cubs and Nationals discussed a trade.  With $26.5MM owed to him over 2010-11, the Cubs would have to eat salary or take a contract back.

Derrek Lee and Ted Lilly are free agents after the season.  If the Cubs want to re-sign them, they're likely to stay put this summer regardless of the team's record.  Otherwise, Lee and Lilly could draw solid returns on the trade market (assuming Lilly comes back strong from a shoulder procedure).  Although both players stand a good chance of achieving Type A status, arbitration offers are not certain.

Most likely, the Cubs would move smaller pieces if they fall out of the race: Xavier Nady and Chad Tracy are on one-year deals.  

Full Story | 38 Comments | Categories: Chicago Cubs

38 Responses to If The Cubs Become Sellers Leave a Reply

  1. Suzysman 5 years ago

    “If The Cubs Become Sellers”… dont expect much because basically everyone has a full no trade.

    Damn you Hendry!

    • More often than not, no-trade clauses don’t seem to hold up trades. They limit options, but if the team really wants to move a guy they usually find a way.

      • Suzysman 5 years ago

        I know, but they limit options (meaning less leverage/return), often need to be compensated (leading to possibly less return) and we are talking about guys generally overpaid to begin with (meaning less return).

        It leads to me not expecting much

        • jwsox 5 years ago

          for a bunch of these guys they dont need much in return. With Colvin showing up big time getting next to nothing as long as they get salary relief is good enough for the cubs.

          • Suzysman 5 years ago

            Colvin showed up big time?

            And yes, salary relief would be extremely helpful – but most of the salaries which are movable would be gone after the season anyway. Its the ones we are possibly being forced to put on the bench that we need to rid ourselves of.

      • jwsox 5 years ago

        Tim don’t you know that the cubs will never be sellers. they are going to the the world series every year for the next 6 years, ha. Agreed about no-trades. Most no trades are only full no trades to certain teams. A lot of players have a list of places they would go. And many times when its a contender or a sooner to be contender then their current team players will go. Also there is always waivers these players could go on.

  2. MasterDave 5 years ago

    The fact that these are their “trade bait” players, that says a lot about how successful the Cubs can be in 2010.

    They should sell now, give up and start over if anyone’s buying. Which they probably wouldn’t be.

  3. empathizerightonyourbehind 5 years ago

    maybe they can trade one of their bloated outfield contracts for some terrible pitcher in the al west. worked last time.

  4. bjsguess 5 years ago

    Lee is real interesting. Very risky to offer him arb (could easily see him winning $13-15m with a repeat of his 2009 campaign). Would he make anything close to that on the open market?

    The guy is a great player and would help a bunch of teams (looking at you Seattle). Would the Cubs be able to get anything more than salary relief for him? When he’s right he can certainly outplay his paycheck ($13m). When he’s injured … not so much. Seems like with Lee it’s always a 50/50 proposition.

    • jwsox 5 years ago

      lee probably stands as their best bet to get something back. Aram is hurt wayy too much and his defense at 3rd isnt anything to get excited about…I could also see fontenot with castro as the next SS and theroit to be the next 2nd basemen

  5. Jiujitsu411420 5 years ago

    I say dish off as much money as possible and make a run at pujols next year when he hits f/a. There’s a good chance he might want to at least test the waters and maybe bringing a championship to Chicago might entice him a bit,and not to mention break stl’s fans hearts.

    • Triteon 5 years ago

      You need to stop typing with one hand…ain’t gonna happen. It would be like Jeter-to-Boston.

      • jwsox 5 years ago

        jeter to boston is more likely than albert to anywher again he is the single best player to be on the diamond in the past ten year maybe more..he is for sure the best playing right now and there doesnt seem to be anyone about to de-thrown him….jeter is mearly a long time playing SS. Yes he is probably a hall of famer but he is kind of over rated…still ver very good but not a god like Yankees fans an East Cost media make him out to be. but albert is a king and you can pretty much close down the STL and fire everyone in that organization and shut that team down if they let albert walk…and for sure if they let him walk up I-55 to the cubs

    • empathizerightonyourbehind 5 years ago

      you’re right, pujols does kinda seem like the kind of guy that would leave his team of 11 years, with which he already won a world series ring, for a division rival with limited financial flexibility that hasn’t won a world series in 102 years.

      • EClayton08 5 years ago

        limited financial flexibility? You realize he said “dish off as much money as possible”? And really, saying the Cardinals have the financial flexibility to pay Pujols and the Cubs wouldn’t in 2011 is incredible. Apparently I missed when the Cardinals became the Yankees.

        Cardinals will half almost half of their payroll in Pujols and Holliday after 2011, you can field a great time of 23 players for 50M.

        • empathizerightonyourbehind 5 years ago

          sorry, but asking me to take a pujols-to-the-cubs scenario seriously is like asking me to sign a mortgage written on chuck-e-cheese stationary. when something’s predicated on that much nonsense, it doesn’t really deserve that close of a look.

          k thx bai.

          • Jay18 5 years ago

            Wow. You’re sad.

            The Cubs have just a legit a shot as anyone else looking at Pujols as a FA. At that point in time, the Cubs MAY be able to offer the MOST money.

            It pretty much all comes down to Pujols – does he want the most money (which could very well be the Cubs), or will he take a hometown discount and stay with the team he’s been with for years?

          • empathizerightonyourbehind 5 years ago

            ok, i’ll concede one point, the cubs seem to have little reservation in throwing around terrible contracts (soriano, fukudome, bradley, et al). i guess if they’re willing to go 12/360 on pujols you’ve probably got me.

            just in case they don’t thought, i think you’ve got to identify pujols’ primary publicly-stated interest:


            if you decide to look at that rather than whatever bass-ackwards contract hendry decides to put on the table, then i’m guessing that the incumbent team that has made the playoffs 7 of the last 10 years looks a little better than the division rival that’s been more-or-less synonymous with consistent losing for the last century +2.

          • ElsewhereandOtherwise 5 years ago

            I’d rather have Fielder, Gonzales, or Howard anyway. Cheaper, younger (with the exception of Howard, though Pujols’ age is hardly verified), and likely to be nearly as productive while allowing payroll room for other quality players. Pujols is a great player and undoubtedly deserves the respect he is given, but he sure isn’t worth $30MM+/year, no matter how much WAR he is worth.

          • bjsguess 5 years ago

            He is worth $30m/year if Mauer is worth $24m or A-Rod is worth $27m or Ramirez is worth $20m. You can have Fielder, Gonzalez, or Howard. They will all be looking for $22m+. I’d rather pay an extra $8m and get the best player in baseball.

            Over the last full 4 years here is what you are getting with each guy:

            Pujols (age 30) – 335/441/637 – 160 doubles / 165 HR’s / GG caliber defense
            Howard (age 30) – 278/379/589 – 114 doubles / 198 HR’s / average to below average defense
            Fielder (age 26) – 283/382/553 – 135 doubles / 158 HR’s / below average defense
            Gonzalez (age 28) – 285/369/515 – 143 doubles / 130 HR’s / above average defense

            Pujols’ average year is a career year or better than any of these guys. He is just in a league of his own. And more importantly, if you are going to have to commit to a guy for 8-10 years would you really want Fielder or Howard? In the short run they could both be almost as good as Pujols but there is no way that in 8 years that these guys will be in the same class.

          • bjsguess 5 years ago

            Where is this money coming from. Last check the Cubs were totally hamstrung over the off-season. They made minimal changes. Sure ownership mentioned that they could make an off-season move to improve the team if it makes sense. That’s a far cry from a 10/$300m commitment that would likely be required if Pujols hits the FA market.

            It won’t get to that though. If the Cards can’t sign him he will be moved. St Louis would have to be total morons to let him walk for 2 picks. And any team trading for him is going to want a Johan like window to negotiate his monster contract.

            So, while it’s true that the Cubs have a chance of signing Pujols, the opportunity is amazingly little.

          • MasterDave 5 years ago

            Considering most of Pujols statements have been about winning and not about money, I’d say the Cubs have about as much of a chance of signing him as the Joliet Jackhammers. (go ahead, look it up i know you’re not familiar with the Northern League).

            There are a small, small amount of teams that Pujols would want to end up on, which probably starts and ends in the northeast. Yanks, Phillies, Red Sox, maybe something crazy like the Giants. And with Texiera on the Yankees I doubt, despite it being Pujols, would be thrilled about a $200m DH which is what one of them would end up being, so you can mostly count out the Yankees.

            Pretty limited amount of destinations for Pujols honestly. He’ll take less money to stick around in St. Louis as long as LaRussa is the manager because everyone in baseball knows that LaRussa isn’t a rebuilding manager and will definitely do whatever he can to win every single year.

    • jwsox 5 years ago

      there is maybe one place maybe two that pujols would go if he were to leave the STL(NOT GOING TO HAPPEN) and its either to the Yankees or Boston but both of them have guys at 1st for the foreseeable future…There is one other place he could go depending on what happens with Ryan Howard he could again I doubt it but he could go to Philly…But Players like Albert come around once in a generation There is no way STL lets the face of their franchise go.

      Also with him and holiday playing like they are and their pitching staff like it is. And with Colby Rasmus establishing him self in the middle of their line up They have a very good chance of winning it all again. And thats what he wants to do. He said he made his money he just wants to win again. And he said if the cards prove they want to win again and build around him he would stay and that exactly what they did. Sorry mr cub fan but you will never EVER see albert playing on the home team at wrigley unless its for an All star team. he will never be a cub

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      the mariners would sooner resign carlos silva than the cards let pujols go to the cubs.

      • DTSportsGuy 5 years ago

        Sorry guys, as nice as it might be to dream, it is but a dream. The Cardinals undermine their entire franchise by allowing Pujols to walk. They didn’t overpay Holliday because they wanted Holliday. They did it as a precursor to retaining Pujols. He is a guy that has stated repeatedly that he would accept less money in order for the Cardinals to field a contender. He just needed to see the organization make that same commitment. So they did. They traded the best prospect in the system (Brett Wallace) to get Holliday. Then they watched Mark Derosa and a handful of other free agents they needed go elsewhere while playing chicken with Scott Boras all to get Holliday to sign a contract that was too lucrative to begin with. And remember, it wasn’t Holliday they wanted. It was Albert.

    • Nicolas_C 5 years ago

      Pujols won’t be a free agent next year, he has a club option for 2011 which will obviously be picked up

  6. Twins45 5 years ago

    The Twins would love Ramirez, let’s see you can have Young, Ramos, Perkins…

  7. 04Forever 5 years ago

    Lee is intriguing for a DH role in the AL. I wonder whom would pay up for him. He still hits rather hard but he is now on the wrong side of 30.

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      but he still has above average defense so he can still play for an NL team for a few years before reverting to a DH.

    • ElsewhereandOtherwise 5 years ago

      He’s been on the wrong side of 30 for 4 years now.

  8. If this team proves over the course of the next few months that it isn’t a contender then yeah, sell off what you can. Tough to see DLee, ARam and Lilly hitting the age wall anytime soon (maybe Lee) so those guys should be brought back if possible. We’re much more likely to see the likes of Theriot/Fontenot go before they get too expensive since the team has good players lurking in the minors to replace them with. Obviously Silva could be dealt without losing much. Jeff Baker, Nady, Tracy, Grabow (though they’d have to eat some money likely).

  9. optionn 5 years ago

    Zambrano is going to be the first guy in the bullpen haulin in 19 million dollars a year. The guy is terrible- whoever agreed to pay him that much is ludacris.

  10. Dan Wohl 5 years ago

    Derrek Lee would look awfully nice in a Giants uniform.

    • WillieMaysField 5 years ago

      Hopefully come July Lee waves his no trade and comes home to Northern California.

  11. studio179 5 years ago

    Come on, forget the Pujols talk.

    Lee, Lilly and Fukudome are names with NTCs that might come up depending on how things go in the next couple months. Lee has already told management he would block a trade when approached last year. Sure, new year and maybe a better situation comes up. It’s still too early to gage how bad the team would want to rid themselves of guys who would be difficult to move. It’s doubtful Lou lasts the season if things get that bad.

  12. pearso66 5 years ago

    The problem with the Cubs is, all of their trading “chips” are immovable. Nobody is going to take on Soriano’s or Zambrano’s contracts. Lee is on the last year of his contract so he won’t get much. Fukudome maybe, but they wouldn’t get much for him. Ramirez is probably the best trading chip except for the young guys who shouldn’t get traded in a sell mode. Even if they take on most of the salaries for these guys, they still will only get low minor league players or AAAA guys at best

  13. amhcubby12 5 years ago

    If they stink it up again this year which looks very possible, get rid of the whole bunch (or at least as much as anybody is willing to take on). Start at the top with Hendry. AWFUL!! We now have an $18M left fielder who can’t field, a $12M right fielder who can’t hit, a $17M middle reliever, a $3.75M middle reliever who can’t pitch, a $1.8M wide receiver doubling as a pitcher who couldn’t possibly look worse with the Bears than he does with the Cubs. Way to go Jimbo – oh, not to mention most of them, if not all, have no trade clauses. Get rid of the pending free agents. Lee and Lilly have value to contending teams – no doubt. Zambrano – way to showcase him as a middle reliever. That should lower his value nicely. Then, move on to the secondary players – Theriot (slowest fast guy in baseball – no range as a SS), Fontenot, Baker, Nady – move them all!! If an offer is made for Dempster, Byrd or Ramirez, move them all too.

    Begin over with the following:
    Randy Wells
    and unfortunately, Soriano because no one is going to take him!

    But, first off and most importantly, FIRE HENDRY!!!!!

  14. SosaCrackers 5 years ago

    at this point I think the fans would rather have a rebuild and watch rookies lose than watch veterans lose… Lee, Theriot, Tracy, Nady, any starter not named Wells can all bring back some prospects. Mid-season prediction:
    c – Soto
    1b – Soriano (why not?)
    2b – Fontenot
    3b – Ramirez
    ss – Castro
    lf – Byrd
    cf – Colvin
    rf – Fukudome (not going to waive his no trade, it already took him 2 years to get comfortable in Chicago)

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