Rumors have circled in recent days that the Chicago Cubs are ready to start the MLB trading season.
Chicago Cubs’ President of Baseball operations Theo Epstein puts the chances of the Cubs making a trade before the All-Star break at 50-50.
“Judging by the amount of calls that are going on, and the number of pieces we intend to have available and the number of opportunities that might present themselves for us to get better, yeah, I’d say 50-50,” Epstein said.-Theo Epstein, Chicago Tribune
All signs point to starting pitcher Matt Garza being the first player to be traded.
A report from Sunday morning indicated that the Cubs were inclined to trade Garza sooner rather than later and the Baltimore Orioles would be an ideal fit for the starting pitcher.
It would appear that Epstein is aware of his past efforts to trade particular Cubs’ players.
Injuries played a factor in what the Cubs planned to do trade wise with Garza last season and in Spring Training. Injuries are also playing a factor in the Cubs’ trade plans for this season.
Cubs’ outfielder David DeJesus is expected to be be sidelined until after the All-Star break and it would appear that the chances of the outfielder being traded are unlikely. Outfielder Ryan Sweeney, who was expected to replace either DeJesus or left fielder Alfonso Soriano if one of the two are traded, is expected to miss the next six weeks with a broken rib.
Speaking of Soriano, Epstein spoke to his ability to heat up quickly.
“He’s somebody who if you looked at the last year and a half as a whole, he’s performed,” Epstein said. “Obviously this year he hasn’t been at the level of last year, but he’s the type of player who can get really hot in a hurry.
“We just lost two outfielders to injury. He works really hard to keep himself healthy. Given our situation now, he’s going to be in (the lineup) and let’s hope that beautiful swing he took (Saturday) afternoon gets him really hot.” -Epstein, Chicago Tribune
Soriano responded on cue to those comments as the left fielder had 2 doubles in the Cubs’ game against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
The idea of the Cubs’ trading Soriano has always been far-fetched. If the Cubs were going to trade Soriano, now would be the time do so as the left fielder only has one more season left on his contract.
In an ideal world, Epstein would likely prefer to trade Soriano. However, trading Soriano does not appear to be the priority for the team’s front office.
Nonetheless, the stove is sizzling for the Cubs and the Cubs are ready to light the fire.