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.  


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