April 14, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Carlos Marmol (49) waits for the batter during the game against the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports

Trading Season Has Officially Begun For Chicago Cubs

With the two trades the Cubs pulled off early on Tuesday afternoon, that means its officially trading season in the MLB even though the deadline isn’t for another 29 days.

The Cubs pulled off two trades that they seem to think helps them as a team.  The first one shipped a guy that Cub fans couldn’t wait to get out of Chicago to Los Angeles, Carlos Marmol was traded to the Dodgers for reliever Matt Guerrier.  The Dodgers will also acquire international signing bonus slot number four from the Cubs.

The Cubs are getting a guy that isn’t anything special, but will chew up innings when he is healthy.  Guerrier has appeared in 34 games this year, has struck out 21, and has an ERA just under five, at 4.80.  The Dodgers will absorb most of the money owed to Carlos Marmol, who is in the final year of his three year deal.  Marmol, who is 30 years old, has gone 2-4 this year with a 5.86 ERA.

The Dodgers are hoping that the 2010 Carlos Marmol is revived.  There is no doubt that when Marmol is in control, he has some nasty stuff.  In 2010 he had 38 saves for the Cubs and a 2.55 ERA.  I think that neither team is gaining anything in this trade, I just think this is a case of Marmol needing out of Chicago.

The other trade that came about involved the Cubs and the Orioles.  The Orioles will acquire RHP Scott Feldman, who was actually scheduled to start for the Cubs tonight.  Feldman, in my opinion, has been the best starter for the Cubs this season.  He is just 30 years old and is 7-6 with a 3.46 ERA on the year.  This was a move that the Orioles needed to make in my mind as their combined ERA for their starters this year is at 4.79.

The O’s also acquired backup catcher Steve Clevenger from the Cubs.  With the play of Welington Castillo, there just wasn’t any room for Clevenger on the big league roster, especially with Dioner Navarro being a solid back up.

The Cubs got 28 year old reliever Pedro Strop, starter Jake Arrieta, and the number three and four international bonus slots.  Strop hasn’t been too sharp this season, he will come to Chicago with an 0-3 record and a 7.25 ERA.  Jake Arrieta will leave Baltimore behind and hopefully he leaves his record and ERA there too.  Arrieta, who was once considered a top guy in the Orioles organization, is also struggling this year, he is 1-2 with a 7.23 ERA.

It appears that the Cub front office is very excited about the guys they got in return for the players that they dealt.  If I were to give the two trades a combined grade, I would give it a C+.  I don’t think they got a lot to build on for the future, but I also don’t think they gave up guys that will be contributors down the road.

Chris Rusin will make his first start for the Cubs tonight in the spot of Feldman who is on his way to Baltimore.  The Cubs and A’s play tonight at 9:05 CT.

This now opens the door for other teams to start looking at guys like Matt Garza and possibly Alfonso Soriano.  A guy that hasn’t been mentioned much, but might be on the move in my mind is Nate Schierholtz.  The Cubs should be very active over the course of the next four weeks.

Tags: Alfonso Soriano Baltimore Orioles Carlos Marmol Chicago Cubs Chris Rusin Dioner Navarro Jake Arrieta Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Garza Matt Guerrier Nate Schierholtz Oakland Athletics Pedro Strop Scott Feldman Steve Clevenger Welington Castillo

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