StylesClash wrote:Someone mentioned a few days back about how the idea of acquiring a clear cut above average starting pitcher would not only be great for this season, but especially two years from now. Lackey will be retired, Hammel will be gone, Lester could very easily start to be in the midst of a decline, and Arrieta may not be deemed worthy of a massive five or six year contract.
So if you acquire a good pitcher for Soler not only do you make the rotation better now, but you're now better prepared for down the road. Plus I do like the idea of knowing what you're going to get from Fowler (a respectable 750 to 790 OPS). With Soler he could boom to the tune of an OPS of around 820, or bust with an OPS of 710/720 (with below average defense to boot).
Having another quality base stealer, in Fowler, certainly is nice too. When playing in pitcher friendly parks, in cold weather, or against a tough sinkerballer, having additional speed is a valuable asset.
I know the odds of acquiring Jose Fernandez are slim to none, but rotoworld posted a blurb talking about how the Marlins realize they are near certain to lose Fernandez as a FA three years from now. And realistically Fernandez's value won't increase that much more, so holding onto him until next offseason doesn't seem worth the risk of him getting hurt. So if Florida fell in love with Soler's upside we could start a package built around Soler and whatever two or three prospects in the farm system Florida wants (although I would prefer to keep Contreras if at all possible). Hammel could be thrown in too, since if he pitches well again in the first half Florida could flip him for a solid prospect or two.
I'm not fundamentally opposed to
a) Trading Soler for pitching
b) Adding a piece now to deal with 2 years from now (this has been the main secondary reason why I still would like to make a move now - obviously, boosting our chances this year is the main thing, but with Arrieta adding so many innings, Lester nearing the age of decline, and Lackey being old, plus Hammel a free agent after this year, if you get an impact guy now, you might not get pinned against the wall in a year or two, trying to desperately get pitching, particularly when our main starting pitching assets probably still need at least 2 years to develop).
That said, at this juncture of the off-season, it seems quite unlikely that the Cubs could get the good deal for Soler that would motivate both parties to make a trade. I just don't see which team is going to sell an intriguing asset right now. Any team shopping starting pitching now is probably hoping that some team is desperate enough to fork over what they want. There's still Gallardo on the market, so there may be a hesitancy to make the move now, as these sellers will likely want to wait until organizations feel like the well's empty and may be more desperate. I don't want to make a move for the Odorizzi's of the world for Soler, because as good as Odorizzi is, I'm not sure he's the impact arm to justify gambling on Soler's upside.
As for the Marlins, I think this is a half-season gambit, at most a one-season gamble for them. If they are competitive, I suspect they'll just make a push with their core, and it's quite possible that, with some luck, they are in the playoff chase. That said, if they are bad, I think they try to shop Wei-Yin Chen mid-season to end of the season (so the brunt of the contract is someone else's responsibility), and I could see them listen on Jose Fernandez. Just don't think it makes much sense to move Jose now, as they've added a big SP piece to make a run.
a) On Blake Snell - I'm still not sure I'm as gung-ho about him as everyone seems to be this winter. He's good, but I'm just not sure I buy he's that good. That said, I'm more inclined to believe Tampa would move Chris Archer than Blake Snell (and obviously, all the other current options). They simply don't have the money long term to keep some guys, so they need to develop and trust their young talent, and moving someone like Archer could add a couple impact young pieces.
b) On creating a similar situation in the OF - I do agree that moving Soler could create the same situation in the OF (that is, short term guys with minimal long term assets). I would point out that
i) After this offseason, it should be pretty clear that, even in this environment, the cost of pitching is still through the roof, whether in years (more I think about it, that Wei Yin Chen deal is baffling for two reasons - a, the opt out does seem like a get out of jail card, and b, as long as he doesn't get hurt, Wei Yin Chen seems quite likely to get his 6th year, which is just stunning in some regards for a mid-rotation arm) or money.
ii) Our system is far more likely to develop additional OF assets sooner than later.
This isn't, again, to advocate for a Soler trade now. As noted above, I don't really buy the idea that a good trade is out there. This is simply to say that it could be argued that creating that an uncertain future in the OF, based on what the Cubs look like now, might be a palatable consideration.
c) If you can't get impact in a potential Soler trade, then there's no reason to do a deal. If you feel like you need an arm, there's still enough assets on the farm that we should be able to cobble together a trade for a good SP, particularly considering the chances of elite assets being moved is a bit slim (thus, potentially giving increased value to our guys in a trade).