davell wrote:In some ways(you kind of insinuated it on Twitter too), we're digging ourselves into a position where we don't really have great options to trade FROM......
Javy- Need him for defense, still has upside offensively too, but his D and being the only guy we've got, outside of Addy, that can play SS, kind of makes him untradeable.
Happ- We need his bat, at the moment.(maybe longer than that). Zobrist is older and has started slow, plus his back is acting up. There's room for AB's going forward for him.
Schwarber- I don't see this FO moving him, but his slow start isn't going to help his value and there's no way they'd deal him for less than max value.
So, who does it leave for us to grab a TOR SP with?
Eloy? Sure. But damn, I really, really, really don't want to trade him. Candelario? Sure. But, he's not a lead piece in a major deal. Cease? He's probably too far away to capitalize on yet(but its one reason I'd move him to MB quick too) Almora? At this point, if you plan on keeping Happ, you'd have to find him OF AB's. That'd move Heyward to CF. Its not ideal for our overall OF D, to have him in CF, flanked by Schwarber and Happ, but maybe they think the bats worth it? No idea. But, its not easy to see what we're dealing off, to get a true upgrade starting pitcher, that's not a rental.
Yeah, I went from thinking Happ was the one they'd choose to trade to now thinking it's more likely Eloy.
And I realize it seems dumb to change the thought process like that in one month (and perhaps they felt this way all along themselves), but with how much the Cubs may actually need Happ now, I don't know how you trade him. Zobrist is going to be better than a sub-.700 OPS hitter of course, but it's possible his age is showing and he could use some days off (even if his back etc aren't issues).
Baez is even more important then for the same reason. Plus he's the only other guy that can play shortstop and we just saw how that was needed for the last few days.
Candelario is going to go in a trade, it's just a matter of when. I'm in favor of moving him sooner than later. His value is not going to be higher than it is now, and any additional MLB playing time may only expose him. So far he's looked pretty rough at the dish in the majors. I think Candelario makes sense in a deal to Toronto for example, for Estrada or Happ as a short-term solution (Happ is still owed $13 million next year as you alluded to to start the thread). But you could also use him as the second piece in a deal headlined for Eloy if you want to find that cost-controlled starter.
With how much of a priority they've made about developing arms and how much crap they've taken for their failures to do so, it's hard to see them giving up Cease in a deal. But like if it's for a cost-controlled sub-30 arm, I think it's an understandable thing, right? For a big-time arm, this is the kind of scenario it may come down to, because like you said, it probably makes even less sense to trade Baez and Happ now than it did to open the season.
I don't see finding at-bats for Happ being an issue honestly. He can play second, he can play left, he can play right. Heck, he even started 4 games in CF this year and played there a lot at Cincy IIRC. Injuries, slumps, and needed off days (like Zobrist especially) are going to keep happening. One way or another, I bet he'd start 3-4 times a week (as long as he keeps hitting, of course).
So, yeah, when you add it all up, it would seem to be Eloy as the main guy to go, which really really sucks. But he's 2-3 years away from the current team that is trying to win championships, and he probably gets you the biggest return for your biggest need: a cost-controlled arm. And you are still loaded with position players offensively. He also is limited to corner outfield, and we know they have Heyward, Schwarber, Happ, etc there for the foreseeable future. It's also a position you can generally plug in with a solid bat if you have to. It would really suck to lose him, but he's probably the guy you can most "afford" to give up in their current position, especially when he's going to bring a big return that helps your current and future club at their biggest need.