While respective general managers in Pittsburgh, St Louis, Texas and New York were scurrying between phone calls with hopes of making a deal before the 3 p.m. central non waiver trade deadline, Chicago Cubs’ general manager Jed Hoyer was likely cool, calm, and collected while speaking with teams on Wednesday.
The reason for Hoyer’s likely demeanor? The Cubs already did their heavy lifting.
Neither of those three were traded today.
That is because in the weeks prior to the deadline, the Cubs were able to successfully move their three biggest trading chips.
Scott Feldman was the first chip to be traded, and as part of the deal, the Cubs’ received to young starting pitchers in Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop. Strop has shown flashes of being a future closer for the Cubs, while Arietta was impressive in his Cubs’ debut on Tuesday.
That was only the beginning for the Cubs.
In the past two weeks, the Cubs have traded Garza and Soriano.
The Cubs’ traded Garza to the Texas Rangers for third base prospect Mike Olt, starting pitcher Justin Grimm, and pitching prospect CJ Edwards. Included in the deal was a player to be named later that likely will be pitching prospect Neil Ramirez.
Olt figures to be the Cubs’ starting third baseman by as early as next season, Grimm will likely be in the Cubs’ starting rotation by the end of the season, and Edwards instantly becomes one of the Cubs’ top pitching prospects.
Edwards recently made his Cubs’ organization debut with the Cubs’ high-class A affiliate. In his debut with the Daytona Cubs, Edwards pitched five innings of shutout baseball to go along with 8 strikeouts. Olt has been the main focus of the Cubs’ package from the Rangers, but make no mistake, Edwards is the gem of the Cubs’ return from the Rangers.
After their highly-praised trade with the Rangers, the Cubs followed with a deal that sent left fielder Alfonso Soriano to the New York Yankees.
This was not strictly a salary dump for the Cubs. The Cubs’ received pitching prospect Corey Black from the Yankees. Black features a high-velocity fastball that is capable of reaching the upper 90s and that should project the prospect as a late inning reliever for the Cubs.
Before July 31, the Cubs acquired 6–potentially 7–prospects that figure to be a part of the team’s long-term plans.
If faith was wavering in the Cubs’ front office prior to the month of July, it certainly has been ceased with these trades.
That is why the Cubs were in no need to make a trade on Wednesday as the case was with some other teams.
But, there was no need to.
Schierholtz is under team control though the 2014 season, and DeJesus–with a club option of $6.5 million–will likely be back with the Cubs as well in 2014. Both outfielders provide terrific value to the Cubs and there was no need to trade either of them if teams were not willing to meet the Cubs’ demands.
The same can be said about James Russell, who the Cubs value as a left-handed reliever in their bullpen.
Gregg likely does not have a long-term future with the Cubs, however, the team will have the opportunity to trade the closer in August during the waiver period.
The Cubs traded the players they had to trade before deadline day in order to ensure a handsome return. That left the Cubs with the flexibility to not feel pressured into making a deal on deadline day.
It was a strategy that succeeded in every possible way for the Cubs’ front office; and is the type of strategy that makes the Cubs a better baseball organization day after day.