Is the Blockbuster the First of Several Trades for the Cubs?

According to multiple reports, Friday night’s deal that sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland for SS Addison Russell, OF Billy McKinney, RHP Dan Straily and a PTBNL could only be the beginning of a busy month for the Chicago Cubs.

The Sun-Times reported the Cubs “are now poised to make several more trades throughout the month and possibly into the winter, given the strength they’ve built in the coveted middle-of-the-diamond players.” And the front office could use the position player depth to add pitching to the system and at the big league level.

According to the Sun-Times, the Cubs could flip Addison Russell to the Mets for pitching. The Mets were interested in Russell before the Cubs acquired him. Jon Heyman reported right after the trade between the Cubs and A’s was leaked that the Cubs and Mets “are logical trade partners.” The Cubs have young bats and shortstops that the Mets do not while New York has young arms that are missing in Cubs system.

The Mariners “are said to be very interested in Starlin Castroaccording to the Sun-Times, but the Cubs “won’t be quick to trade their two-time All-Star.” Javier Baez has also “drawn interest from several teams, most notably the Miami Marlins” according to the Sun-Times, but the Cubs would want a “major haul” in return for Baez.

PrintLHP James Russell is on the Angels’ radar. Jeff Passan reported Friday night the Angels “are believed to be targeting” a relief pitcher and a lefty specialist would fit their needs. The Sun-Times reported the Angels have been “following the Cubs in recent weeks with an eye on” Russell.

OF Justin Ruggiano is garnering attention. Rumors have suggested teams were interested in Ruggiano and the Sun-Times indicated Ruggiano “could be the first position player to be traded.”

Darwin Barney, Carlos Villanueva, Wesley Wright and Nate Schierholtz have also drawn interest from teams and could be on the move at some point over the next two months.

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  • Eugene Debs

    Trade them all.

  • Tony_H

    Good timing for the Ruggianos, Schierholtzs to start hitting the ball better. They may actually return a noticeable young arm versus some low A ball bullpen arm.

    • Eugene Debs

      Lots of decisions to make, that’s for sure.

  • Jeffrey Rogers

    Trading Castro makes no sense.

    • Tony_H

      It is not likely as he has already gone through the growing pains, but it is an option.

      • J Daniel

        Very much an option as he can help bring back established pitching. Someone is going to go in another deal or two to bring back “good” pitching.

        • Jeffrey Rogers

          Castro is a proven MLB SS with a team friendly contract.

          Russell is a AA shortstop.

          Baez will never be a SS.

          • J Daniel

            Correct, Baez will not play short for Cubs. They may keep all and sign pitching. He may end up a .250 power hitting 2b. Russell may end up a gold glove stud 3b? Bryant may be a high end power hitting RF. Schawrber a #3 hitting LF. Who knows other than they are acquiring a lot of high level prospects in which some are going to hit.

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    I don’t like the idea of trading the stud position prospects for a pitching prospect. If it was for a David Price type (meaning young/current pitching stud) that is fine.

    Just seems a safer bet that batting prospects will pan out, while pitching is an absolute crapshoot. That is why I am hopeful Theo finds Ricketts’ wallet soon, and they use the funds on FA pitching soon. (more “Tanaka” and “Anibal” vs “Ejax” though please)

    • Tony_H

      I just texted that to a buddy. Keep the bats, go out and sign Scherzer, Lester, Shields, etc. to sit on top of the rotation, sign 2 if they want. But keep the bats.

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        exactly…if you had $85m to give the Mullet, and the fortune you threw at Tanaka, they can do that. Remember we “rolled the savings over” from this off-season.

        If they don’t bring in some quality, and just swap prospects for more prospects, it will be maddening. I want to watch a playoff-contending baseball team again…I have rebuild-fatigue.

        • Tony_H

          You, rebuild fatigue….never saw that coming.

      • TheWrongGuy

        I would trade one of the “sigma six” bats, in a package for pitching vice pay horrible FA market prices. I would trade Baez.

  • GaryLeeT

    The Mariners “are said to be very interested in Starlin Castro” according to the Sun-Times, but the Cubs “won’t be quick to trade their two-time All-Star.”

    I bet the Cubs would be quick to trade their All-Star if it involved Walker.

    • Tony_H

      Now you are getting it. If the return is worth it, no player is off limits. Just ask Addison Russell, who was considered untouchable.

      • GaryLeeT

        I hope it wasn’t the injuries that changed their minds. The Cubs don’t need another Soler project.

        • Tony_H

          I doubt it. The push to win now and in Oakland and Beane’s case, they may feel this is the best chance they have to win a World Series. I am rooting for them!

          • GaryLeeT

            I will be especially curious to see how Samardzija performs. This is the first time in his career that real, and heavy expectations are being put upon him. Will he be all that he thinks he is? The one the Cubs let get away? Or melt under the spotlight? Personally, I don’t think he has what it takes between the ears to be a star.

          • Tony_H

            I agree.

          • John_CC

            Yes, I am really looking forward the rest of the season. Jeff gets to pitch for one of the best teams with very real championship expectations. But also it is Oakland and he is still very much on borrowed time. If he doesn’t like the way Epstien manages rosters he surly isn’t going to like knowing Beane will trade him tomorrow if the opportunity arises.

  • Tony_H

    Hearing Carlos Villanueva to get the spot start today.

    • Tony_H

      De facto bullpen day as Villanueva can’t be expected to go much more than around 4 innings.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Ken Rosenthal: Sources: Angels acquire Thatcher, Campana from DBacks. Return not yet known.

    There is the Angels lefty reliever

  • Tony_H

    Let’s reverse this and change some names.

    Would you trade Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Chris Rusin for James Shields and Brandon McCarthy?

    How about Ian Kennedy and Justin Masterson?

    David Price and pick one of McCarthy and Masterson.

    Tough to say yes, unless you are going all in for this season, knowing that they could all walk at the end of the year.

  • Swish23

    let’s hope the FO is very careful about flipping prospects for SP prosepcts. if the cubs flip the wrong one (meaning the good one) and keep the bad ones(those that fail); its a double whammy. at this point Russell, is barely a AA player; has all of 57 at-bats at that level. and I hope a 2-time all-star Castro does not get moved; shortstops hitting .290 and on pace for 20 plus HR and 90 plus RBI don’t grow on trees. in the end, the FO mishandled the whole Shark situation from the beginning. he should of been signed long before now when the Danks contract at 5/65M was the example; the Bailey 6/106M blew the Cubs ability to keep Shark and it’s obvious now no one was going to pay the SP prosepcts. Tthe FO got bluffed. What happened to the AA prospect for hammel and the AAA & AA prospect for Shark? we got 1 barely AA non-SP prosepct, an A OF who is doing worse than our supposed A stud in Almora and a #4 SP who most likely won’t even contribute in 2017; if the team is good by then. garza and feldman brought back 5 pitchers, 1 SP and 3 RP plus Olt on the team now and Edwards (he being the cream of the haul). Yet Shark and Hammel brought back this? as prospects are more highly valued by teams; the FO also did not understand that and took another player we have plenty of. most are all aglaze about Russell and his high BA ranking. pitching is still 80% of the game. and right now there is no one to project on a 2017 team. (most of the AA team has been hurt and most will repeat the league). and this team is gonna get bad now; real bad. gotta wonder how rizzo and castro fell about this. year 5 of castro seeing 2nd halves get flushed and year 3 for rizzo. losing breeds losing. since none of the players coming back will be in the majors, gotta think the clubhouse is not happy. one thing is for sure, cubs could be #1 farm team now; which happens when the MLB team gets shredded; but at this point we don’t need amymore prospects; so let';s hope Ricketts is ready to spend on pitching. it’s time the MLB team gets some focus now.

    • Tony_H

      Why do people keep thinking that Samardzija was going to sign an extension, if only the FO did their job? He wants to be a FREE AGENT! And now being with the A’s he will not have to deal with extension talks, and instead will have to make sure he stays healthy.

      The Cubs could have traded for Mike Trout and you would say it was a horrible deal.

      • Swish23

        did the FO do their job? No. Shark was tired of losing. and losing is projected for 2 more years. if the team is good; he said he would stay. he wants to be a FA because the team is bad. and won’t pay the current SP salaries. the FO missed the SP market, and missed the SP prospect market; so they took a SS prospect; granted a high ranking one, but this haul is missing 3 SP prospects. it’s not what you would expect.
        gotta love the exgerration; Trout; really?! has the team made any move close to that? did they not blink on Sanchez, Darvish and Tanaka? and not pony up for Cespedes, Puig, Ryu, etc instead taking the Soler kid who was farther from MLB ready thus more riskier.(and injured too).
        how do you think Castro and Rizzo feel right about now?
        and even better; Ricketts won’t let the kids come up starting their clock; so we are waiting for the kids; but they are being delayed when they are ready. come august; what does Alcantara or Bryant need to prove? one could argue why even promote bryant, baez and alcantara at all next year since the team won’t be contending; why even start the clock. Castro and Rizzo will be entering their prime next year.
        maybe Theo finds SP in all this prospect fantasyland; but RIcketts has shown no inclination to spend so I see no FA SP coming here. and in reality; next year there is no point; the team is not ready and the longer the prospects stay in the minors; the longer their MLB learning curve will extend; which extends the losing.

        • Tony_H

          They actually just did their job. Shark was NOT going to sign any extension. He wants to be a FA. Let that sink in because that is 100% fact. Now, do they just let it play out or do they get a Top 10 prospect like Russell when it is offered. Everyone knew they were going to trade these 2, why do you act shocked. Castro and Rizzo knew it was happening this month, they feel just fine this morning.

          You really should stick to sports talk radio.

          • Swish23

            Shark wants to be FA because the team sucks. 100% fact as he said the losing was becoming tough and no one could guarantee 2015 or 2016 as better. and let’s remember, the cubs could of drafted Russell; who went 5 spots later than our own supposed stud Almora in 2012 draft. and please allow your “all knowing” attitude to not tell other posters what they should do. fact is cubs needed pitching prospects from shark and hammel; we got none. basically, its 2 MLB starters for a 57 at-bat AA SS prospect.

          • Tony_H

            Lots of facts you are spreading that are just not true.

            Like I said you should stick to sports talk radio, it is a lot more your style.

          • Ryan

            Not sure where this guy is getting his facts. I’d like him to show us some quotes from Shark that states 100% he wants out of Chicago because of the losing. I can’t say I ever read anything about his refusal to sign an extension was 100% related to losing. I did however read a quote from Shark suggesting he owed it to the younger players to NOT sign a team friendly contract. It’s become all about the money with Shark and I’m really glad the Cubs didn’t overpay to sign him to an extension.

          • SirGladiator

            That’s right, Shark wasn’t against signing an extension, he just wanted more money than the FO was willing to pay. They were 40m apart, Shark came down 20m, the FO came up 500k. If they’d met him halfway, he’d have been a Cub for life. It was all about the money, the FO wasn’t willing to pay him, and maybe they were smart not to or maybe they weren’t, but it was the FO’s decision to trade him rather than sign him, as they could’ve done so easily. He wasn’t all about winning, or all about leaving, he was all about getting paid what he felt he was worth, which probably was more than he really ‘was’ worth.

          • Josh Man

            Cubs could have drafted Russell, but then wouldn’t have Almora. Now we have both! That’s freaking huge.

          • Tony_H

            And to take it the extreme positive to counteract the extreme negative. All they gave up was a 3 month rental, that they paid $3M for and a relief pitcher they inherited and created value by seeing he should start and timing his trade to maximize value. Plus a BOR pitcher and another 1st round player from just last year.

            It really is an amazing ROI.

      • ryan

        I agree with you Samardzija had no intentions to ever sign an extension with the Cubs. Before he started having this short run of success he was quoted saying he loves Chicago and its about more than money. How quickly that changed when he started to have some success now its all about the money. I personally am glad the FO didn’t overpay for Samardzija.

    • Jeffrey Rogers

      I Agree with your take on Castro. Jeff S was not going to sign an extension. Bet you the A’s don’t extend him either. If they do then you know he just hated the Cubs FO.

      • John_CC

        Beane doesn’t do $100M extensions with 30 year old players. Jeff is in the same boat next July.

        • Tony_H

          I hope the A’s keep him (puts them in the playoff hunt) and then does a QO on him that Shark rejects (obviously) and that it hurts his market value. The AL West may not do wonders for his numbers. His best offer may have already been put in front of him.

          • John_CC

            Yep!

          • Ryan

            Amen!!!

    • Tony_H

      2017 and you think there is no one to project for pitchers.

      Arrieta will still be here
      Wood will likely be extended to cover at least one of his FA years.

      Grimm and Ramirez are still here in 2017 and it wouldn’t surprise me if one is in the rotation.

      The bullpen will have Rondon, plus Grimm and/or Ramirez. Plus Vizcaino (unless they give him a shot to start), plus Rivero.

      Here are the most likely guys in order by level for 2017

      AAA – Hendricks, Beeler
      AA – Johnson, Black
      A+ Zastryzny
      A Blackburn, Tseng, Underwood
      A-Clifton, Wells

      Plus by 2017 the high school arms we just signed in the draft could start to show up.

      Plenty of internal options to fill the rotation, plus the rotation has been the one area that this FO has shown it can fill from FA and trades and be productive.

      • Swish23

        I’m missing the 1, 2, 3 starters in your collection of supposed 2017 staff. hendricks and Beeler both project as #4s. Johnson was hurt and will repeat AA; still an unknown. Black same deal.
        Mr Z has an ERA near 6. Blakcburn and Underwood look good at Kane County, but its low A. Forget Clifton and Wells; moon shots from majors and high school kids will be 20 or 21 com 2107; with Theo’s idea every prospect plays every level; they won’t be here. And you forgot Edwards; the “haul” from Garza; he’s injured too. I can project a 2017 rotation; just not one with a 1, 2 or 3. 80% of the game is pitching. As Harry would say; “what about the pitching”?

        • Tony_H

          Not all 1,2, or even if you want to go to 3’s (many of these guys do project as mid rotation types, with upside of 2/3) are heralded in the minors. Some actually develop right in front of our eyes (Arrieta). I added Edwards for you, didn’t list any injured pitchers.

          Theo has never said that EVERY prospect plays EVERY level. Just more facts that you spread that are just wrong.

    • John_CC

      Whatever!

      I must get hard always being the smartest guy in the room.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Ruggiano has been hot lately I hope they Trade him ASAP before he cools off.

  • Tony_H
    • cc002600

      great article. Thanks
      I’m liking it more and more.

  • Tony_H

    So true…

    Retweeted by Mauricio Rubio Jr.

    Brett Taylor ‏@BleacherNation 4m

    As you ROFL in awe at the @FacebookCubs of the world, just remember: there are more of them than there are of us.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    I hope we keep Russell. If trade Baez first IMO. Russell had high OBP and better all around stats. And he’s only 30! Keep him!

    • Vivid_Reality

      30 seems a bit old for AA…

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Lol, I meant 20. I just hope they keep them all. Get pitching in FA and wait on guys to emerge from within. Wee got some solid prospects at lower levels to pitch. Don’t give up any of our Top 50 prospects! But if they do an it nets us some top pitchers I’d understand. But it would hurt to see Russell or Baez or whoever in another uniform going to all-star games and knowin they could be Cubs.

  • Steven Keaton

    Sheesh the future is bright. I’m still sick that they didn’t get tanaka though. That would be huge going forward

  • BigJonLilJon

    When I first heard of the Shark/Hammel deal and the return, my first instinct was we didn’t get enough. Now that I’ve researched a bit more, it seems I was wrong. Especially when we look at the next wave of deals that are probably coming. Cubs are building an offensive juggernaut!! Pitching will be added in the next wave of deals and 2016 will be a great year.

  • Tony_H

    Chicago Cubs ‏@Cubs 1m
    It’s official: Cubs acquire INF Addison Russell, OF Billy McKinney, P Dan Straily & PTBNL from @Athletics for Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel.

  • Tony_H

    Jesse Rogers @ESPNChiCubs · 1m

    Theo reiterates impact middle of the field players that can hit can always move around…has said that before w/ Baez, etc

    Jesse Rogers @ESPNChiCubs · 3m

    Theo says the hope is this is the last yr they would be obvious sellers at deadline

    Jesse Rogers @ESPNChiCubs · 4m

    Theo says long call on Thur night w Beane expanded the deal

    Jesse Rogers @ESPNChiCubs · 6m

    Theo says Beane called about a a month ago and told him they would be aggressive this yr in trade market

  • Tony_H

    Jesse Rogers ‏@ESPNChiCubs 8s

    Theo says there was no pitcher avail in trade market that “was close” to the talent of Addison Russell

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Well no, of course not. I love the attitude of take the best guy regardless of need. They apply it to trades, drafts, everywhere.

    • ryan

      Wheres that guy that felt the Cubs should have received a teams top 3 pitching prospects in the deal?

      • Tony_H

        Not sure who you are referencing, but the Cubs received a teams Top 2 prospects and a Top 10 MLB prospect. That is pretty good.

  • Tony_H

    Jesse Rogers ‏@ESPNChiCubs 18s
    Also reiterates the change in baseball…more pitching out there than hitters so right now they have the most needed commodities…

    • John_CC

      I read an article the other day by a national columnist on Epstein. He see the ML in a “pitching era” right now and is hedging by stock piling the best offensive players he can.

      I think its a brilliant approach. Look at all these prospects! Knowing there is a decent percentage of failure, you increase your odds by never stop adding to the pile. We will never again be pinning all of our hopes one one prospect at a time; Jackson, Vitters, Pie, CP…

  • John_CC

    Now this fun! I wake up late after staying up late celebrating America! and read this crazy headline. Shark and Hammel…I love Billy Beane, I am pulling for Oakland all the way. And I really like what Epstien and Jed have done here. They have two of the top SS prospects in baseball and one of the best SS in the majors at 24 years old! O yes, the gears are moving now. I’d be OK with another blockbuster that moved Baez.

    Or maybe now Baez does move to the OF with Russell being a better infielder and built for 2B.

    • Denver Mike

      It’s crazy, but when I even read people discussing trading Castro now it makes me uneasy. If any of the Castro, Baez, Russell “logjam” is traded, I definitely feel like Baez has to be the first to go. Castro is arguably already a top 3 SS in all of baseball, which is what we can only wish Baez or Russell develop in to. Baez has had some character questions in the past (that admittedly he seems to be moving on from), has a ton of holes in his swing, and has been considered only slightly above average as a defender by many. I mentioned last night, if David Price isn’t moved before the deadline, an offseason trade surrounding Baez + pieces for Price makes the most sense for everyone involved.

      As much as I love the idea of an offense built completely around homegrown talent, starting Rizzo, Castro, Baez, Bryant, Alcantara, Russell, Castillo, etc. would not yield results for a few years as they learn the ML game. To me, Baez (and Castillo) is the biggest question mark in that group, but could still bring home a king’s ransom in a trade.

      • cc0020600

        I totally agree that I think if any of the big SS’s gets moved its Baez (which I agree with) so ….Ok, how about this ? since I read somewhere that Miami likes BAez. I hope they don’t trade Castro.

        Soler, Baez, Vogelbach for Stanton
        Like that one ?
        :-)

        • Denver Mike

          I’m certainly not opposed to trading Baez and Vogelbach, but I still think Soler will end up being a beast if he can put those leg problems behind him. If that’s the package it would take then yes I would, because it would bump our timeframe for contending up to next year IMO. I’d really like to end up with Price or similar TOR pitcher for Baez, but this FO has proven to be able to cobble together a rotation pretty well so far.

      • John_CC

        Completely agree Mike, Castro should not go anywhere, not even to the other side 2B in Chicago. And I have faith in Theo and Jed, if we see this they have already made a couple contingency plans. When I look back at the draft now it becomes even clearer that they have had a master plan and it is far seeing and huge!

        Its funny how the reactionary types are complaining about how terrible this because the Cubs need pitching all they got was another SS. If everyone would take a breath and think about it for one second we can now see what a top prospect can return on the pitching front.

        The Cubs need pitching and all they got was a prospect…but the A’s just got TWO major league pitchers for a couple prospects! So yeah, Baez and a single or double A pitching prosect for Price or Lester? Yes please.

        • Denver Mike

          I’d love to trade for Price, and sign Lester as a FA this offseason. It still needs a little work, but Price, Lester, Arrieta, Wood, Jackson wouldn’t be too bad. Now if we could only get rid of Jackson too….

          • John_CC

            I wonder how desperate the Yankees will get if Price gets traded to Seattle or Tortono or whoever?

            I love this trade because I am really excited about what it means for the Cubs in the near term i.e. thought this coming winter.

            But I really love how Beane just went all out and grabbed two pitchers that improve his team at same time hurting his competitors by taking 50% of the best pitchers off the market at once.

            Its just fun.

  • Ryan

    Per Jesse Rogers: Theo says there was no pitcher avail in trade market that “was close” to the talent of Addison Russell