MLB Trade Deadline: Drew Smyly drops from Cubs real-time power rankings

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Smyly drops from Cubs real-time Trade Chip Power Rankings originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Note: Drew Smyly dropped from a fifth-place tie with Mychal Givens after giving up five runs in the third and fourth innings Saturday, including back-to-back home runs in the fourth by Luis González and rookie Joey Bart. He had allowed only two earned runs in his previous two starts combined.

SAN FRANCISCO — Cubs starter Marcus Stroman says this whole trade deadline thing is pretty simple when it comes to how he approaches it.

“I’m super present,” he said. “I just let things play out.”

He said this after pitching another six scoreless innings Friday night to earn a 4-2 victory over the Giants, lower his ERA in four July starts to 0.89 and increase his potential trade value for one of baseball’s biggest sellers as Tuesday’s trade deadline approaches.

Stroman, who signed a three-year, $71 million free agent deal over the winter, isn’t being shopped by the Cubs the way Willson Contreras, Ian Happ and what’s left of the back end of the bullpen are.

But with two-time All-Star Luis Castillo off the market Friday night with the Reds’ trading Castillo to the Mariners for a haul of prospects, Stroman becomes that much more enticing to the more pitching-needy contenders — price tag and all.

RELATED: Cubs' selloff begins with trade of Martin to Dodgers

“I just figure that’s part of where I’m at in my career,” Stroman said. “When you get to a certain point, you’re going to be liable to be traded, depending on where you’re at. And those are things you can’t really put too much emphasis on because if you do, then it starts taking you out of your routine and rhythm.

“I’m happy. I’m happy in life. So whatever happens happens.”

The Cubs’ having officially begun their second consecutive deadline selloff with Saturday’s trade of reliever Chris Martin to the Dodgers for utility infielder Zach McKinstry, our weekly Cubs Trade Chip Power Rankings shifts into real-time mode.

Saturday night's updated rankings:

1. Marcus Stroman (Last ranking: 2) — “Stro has just continued to get on track for who he’s been in his career,” manager David Ross said. “He’s a really good pitcher and pitches at a high level when he’s right.”

Sounds like a sales pitch to me.

2. Willson Contreras (Last ranking: 1) — Contreras has slumped since his All-Star appearance, a result of the inevitable trade finally getting to him and becoming a distraction, Ross said. He remains the top right-handed bat on the market and is being heavily pursued by teams from San Diego to the New York Mets.

3. David Robertson (Last ranking: 5) — After Martin’s trade Saturday, the Cubs replaced him on the roster by calling up Mark Leiter Jr. But they also flew in reliever Michael Rucker from the minors to hang out in San Francisco, maybe get a nice seafood dinner and be ready to pitch as soon as the next reliever is traded. Robertson, who likely made his final appearance for the Cubs in Friday’s win, is being heavily pursued as the top bullpen arm available.

4. Ian Happ (Last ranking: 4) — Happ showed off his left-field arm in Friday’s first inning with his NL-leading eighth outfield assist, throwing out Wilmer Flores trying to score from second on a single. The All-Star switch-hitter is being targeted by almost every contender, including the Padres, Blue Jays and both New York teams.

5.  Mychal Givens (Last ranking: NR) — The hard-throwing right-hander is one of the hottest setup guys in the league, having allowed just one run in his last 16 appearances (17 1/3 innings) over the past six weeks. As for how quickly he might be moved, see: Rucker’s seafood dinner.

Already traded: Chris Martin.

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