COMMENTARY | With rebuilding still being the flavor of the day for the organization, the Chicago Cubs will undoubtedly be looking to add more young talent to their roster before the July 31st trade deadline. The Cubs have already begun locking up some of their core young talent --Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro specifically. Despite the Cubs' commitment to youth, the team is still littered with veteran players who could easily find new homes at some point before the deadline.
David DeJesus: OF, 33 years oldDeJesus is the type of player that you can only really appreciate when you watch him play everyday. His career numbers are rarely eye-catching and if you only tune in occasionally, he will appear to be a run-of-the-mill outfielder. He is one of those players that does almost all the intangibles well and is also fundamentally sound. Given his affordable salary --$4.25 million-- finding a suitor should come fairly easy for the Cubs. And with DeJesus being 33, it is hard to see him in the team's long-terms plans.
Alfonso Soriano: OF, 37 years oldAlfonso Soriano's eight-year contract has felt like it has been twice that. The tragedy is that Soriano has actually been a productive member of the team every year despite all the grief he gets. The problem is that his production has not been worth the $18 million per year he has been banking. We've heard rumblings about Soriano being shipped out of town since about year three, but this might be the year it happens. He actually plays defense now and is coming off his best overall season with the Cubs (.262, 32 HR, 108 RBIs). If any deal is made, the Cubs will probably have to eat a significant portion of the last year of his contract. But as long as his production stays respectable, someone will come a calling. This will also be the Cubs' second to last chance to get something for him and it is risky to expect that he will duplicate his 2012 numbers next season. Since re-signing him seems out of the question, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer will want to get some return on him as opposed to just letting him walk at the end of the 2014 season.
Scott Feldman: P, 30 years old
Age wise, Feldman probably still has a lot left in the tank. And on a team that has dire need of starting pitching, it would seem like Feldman would be considered for at least semi-long term. His numbers are exciting too (3-3, 2.53 ERA). However, Feldman is now in his ninth season (four of those being as a starter). The career numbers just aren't there to support the claim that he is going to maintain this level of production. Presuming he doesn't tank (which he might), the Cubs' brass will try and unload him for maximum return.
Carlos Marmol: P, 30 years oldI'm not piling on the poor guy. It just feels like his time in Chicago is coming to a close. During the Cubs' division title runs (2007, 2008), Marmol was absolutely filthy. He was putting up video game-type numbers --210 strikeouts in 156-plus innings. Those gaudy numbers will be enough to allure someone into taking the chance on him. Whether he turns his season around or not (2-2, 5.40 ERA, 13 BB in 15 innings), the Cubs have already illustrated that they are ready to show him the door. Ideally, he will turn things around. If he doesn't, what the Cubs will get back for him will be devastatingly small.
Nate Schierholtz: OF, 29 years oldThe fifth spot here could go to Schierholtz or to Scott Hairston. The reason it goes to Schierholtz is because Hairston is currently hitting .125 and wouldn't seem to garner as much interest as Schierholtz might. That being said, it would not be surprising to see both of them shipped off before August. Schierholtz has been productive (.288, 4 HR, 19 RBI) and would be a slam dunk addition to any team trying to make a playoff push. He's also only 29, which means he has plenty of years left to be a fixture anywhere he goes should the team in question want him. His affordable $2.25 million salary would make him an attractive option even as a rental for a contender.
The Cubs have a few other options --Hairston, Carlos Villanueva, Kevin Gregg-- that they could choose to attempt to ship off in the name of rebuilding before the July deadline. While the above players seem most likely, it would make sense that anyone is available--minus Rizzo, Castro, and maybe Jeff Samardzija-- as the Cubs move forward.
Brian is a lifelong Chicago Cubs follower. Living in Illinois his entire life has given him a chance to closely follow and report Chicago sports as a freelance writer through Yahoo! Contributor and Yahoo! Sports. He is also a senior in college majoring in English and Creative Writing.
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