Chicago Cubs Trade Rumors: The Cubs Tradeable Prospects

As anyone who follows A Trip Around the Minors could tell you, the Cubs aren't loaded with prospects who would be a hot commodity come trade deadline. But let's expand our search and take a look at the top prospects the Cubs have and may part with to make a trade.

Sean Gallagher
Current Team: Chicago Cubs
40 Man Roster: Yes
Baseball America Ranking: #5 prospect
Baseball Prospectus Ranking: #6 prospect
Value to Other Teams: A
Value to Cubs: B+

Of all the tradeable pieces, you have to figure that Gallagher is the most sought. He's a 23 year old starting pitcher who has proved himself at every level, and is one of the few top Cubs prospects who is major league ready. BA projects him long-term as a #3 starter, and it's easy to see why. While the Cubs need a couple of spare starters, Gallagher is the guy they have to be most willing to part with. The Cubs may be showcasing his potential by keeping him up in the Majors as a reliever, rather than to demote him back to AAA to start. If a major trade happens, Gallagher is likely to be the centerpiece.


Sean Marshall
Current Team: Chicago Cubs
40 Man Roster: Yes
Too much experience to qualify as prospect
Value to Other Teams: B+
Value to Cubs: B

Marshall is an older, left-handed, lower potential version of Sean Gallagher. He is 25 years old, has more PT, and hasn’t proven himself more than a #4 or #5 pitcher. His left-handedness is a big plus, but on the opposite end, he isn't a guy who could come out of the 'pen long-term. One would think the Cubs are likely to go with the we'll trade one Sean or the other approach, so as to not deplete their starting rotation possibilities if the injury bug strikes.


Donnie Veal
Current Team: Tennessee Smokies (AA)
40 Man Roster: No
Baseball America Ranking: #6 prospect
Baseball Prospectus Ranking: #3 prospect
Value to Other Teams: B+
Value to Cubs: B

Veal projects as a future starting pitcher, but the question is what is his ceiling. He is only 23 years old and was named the Co-Minor League POY (with Rich Hill ) in 2006, but he followed that up with a sub .500 record in 2007 with an ERA of almost 5. His WHIP is cause for concern, but he strikes out a lot of batters, usually an equalizer among prospects. Veal is at the low end of a number of similarly situated Cubs pitching prospects (Gallagher, Marshall, Hill, Samardzija). Whether the Cubs believe that his value is high or he has the potential to go higher may determine whether they are willing to part with him.


Jose Ceda
Current Team: Tennessee Smokies (AA)
40 Man Roster: No
Baseball America Ranking: #4 prospect
Baseball Prospectus Ranking: #4 prospect
Value to Other Teams: B
Value to Cubs: B-

Ceda is considered one of the rising prospects in the Cubs system and since being moved to closer, he has seemed to find his niche. He is a big, strong reliever with a good arm who has a few control issues. That sounds like the definition of a pitching prospect. He isn't likely to be the centerpiece of any trade, but could very well go in a package. Jim Callis believes that Ceda will move into BA's Top 100 list next year. With Wood/Marmol presumably the closers for the future, the Cubs may be willing to move him. His value could increase over the next month, as he will then have 2 full months of closing for scouts to see.


Tyler Colvin
Current Team: Tennessee Smokies (AA)
40 Man Roster: No
Baseball America Ranking: #3 prospect
Baseball Prospectus Ranking: #7 prospect
Value to Other Teams: B
Value to Cubs: C+

Colvin was on the fast track to the Bigs last year…some even said the Cubs wouldn't go after any big-name RF's last off-season because Colvin would be patrolling there in '09. But his numbers this year have brought him back down to earth. He still projects as a solid, everyday RF, but a guy who will need a little more grooming. With the corners covered for the foreseeable future, Colvin is one of the Cubs better bargaining chips, which should cool some of those rumors that Hendry wouldn't trade him. His value should be a lot higher next year with another year in his belt, making a move this year less likely.


Kevin Hart
Current Team: Iowa Cubs (AAA)
40 Man Roster: Yes
Baseball America Ranking: #10 prospect
Baseball Prospectus Ranking: #12 prospect
Value to Other Teams: B-
Value to Cubs: B-

The Cubs got Kevin Hart in the deal that sent Freddie Bynum to the O's, so the Cubs are kind of playing with house money. Hart being placed on the post-season roster last year will definitely help his trade value. He has followed up last year's rise with a solid season (to date) as a starter in Iowa, but has struggled in the Bigs as a reliever. Whether he can regain his form at the major league level could go a long way in determining whether the Cubs are willing to part with him. His trade value may be determined by whether the scouts see him as a starter or reliever in the future.


Jose Ascanio
Current Team: Iowa Cubs (AAA)
40 Man Roster: Yes
Not Rated As Prospect
Value to Other Teams: B-
Value to Cubs: C+

The 23 year old Ascanio has moved between Iowa and Chicago throughout the season, and unless the Cubs acquire another reliever, he may be needed to help keep some arms fresh as we go into September. He hasn't dominated in relief in Chicago or Iowa, but he has been more consistent than most and the current Cubs 40 man roster doesn't have many other options in terms of pen help. While "prospect" relievers are usually less valuable in trades, he does have 11 saves for Iowa and is holding batters to a .195 average, which could make him attractive as a future setup man or closer.

Tony Thomas
Current Team: Daytona Cubs (Advanced A)
40 Man Roster: No
Baseball America: #9 Prospect
Baseball Prospectus: #10 Prospect
Value to Other Teams: C+
Value to Cubs: B-

Tony Thomas is projected as the Cubs everyday second baseman of the future according to Baseball America. The Cubs third round pick from last year has a nice blend of speed and power, but has had a rollercoaster season at Daytona. The fact that he's still in A ball limits his trade value a great deal. He will celebrate his 22nd birthday on Thursday. If the Cubs had a solid 2-sack of the future in their system, he'd probably have a higher value to the Cubs. But the Cubs would be wise, as with many of these guys, to hold on to Thomas for at least another year of grooming before making a move.

Welington Castillo
Current Team: Tennessee Smokies (AA)
40 Man Roster: No
Baseball America: Not Rated as Prospect
Baseball Prospectus: #9
Prospect Value to Other Teams: C+
Value to Cubs: C+

Castillo being named to the Future's Game would appear to help his trade value, as least to some. And while MLB uses some scouting services to pick the rosters, it should be pointed out that a) every team has to have a representative and b) their is usually a shortage of catchers. Jim Callis of BA agrees. Castillo has been a solid catcher throughout his career, especialy defensively, but he's never put up outstanding numbers until his short stint so far at Tennessee this year. But he is only 21 and at a position where the Cubs seem to be set for the foreseeable future (See Soto, Geovany), so a solid month could increase his value, but another year may be best.


Ronny Cedeno
Current Team: Chicago Cubs
40 Man Roster: Yes
Too much experience to qualify as prospect
Value to Other Teams: C
Value to Cubs: B+

Ronny C is a borderline starter/backup; a guy whose been given a shot at starting and didn't claim it. He has been a better hitter for the Cubs this year than in the past and his ability to play both SS and 2B should help his trade value. But, his departure would essentially leave the Cubs without a backup SS. There isn't much in the Cubs SS pipeline to replace him and given that The Riot wore down last year, the Cubs are going to need a solid backup SS.


Micah Hoffpauir
Current Team: Iowa Cubs (AAA)
40 Man Roster: Yes
Not Rated as Prospect
Value to Other Teams: C
Value to Cubs: B-

Hoffpauir's biggest detraction is his age. With everyone looking for the next young, hot prospect, the 28 year old who just cracked the majors isn't a hot commodity. He also has a history of injuries. But if you were an AL team looking for a DH who could mash, Hoff would be the guy. Problem is, most AL teams have DH's. In fact, there seem to be too many old, broken-down players who have been forced in DHing. Teams may still look at him as a 1 sack, but it's his hitting ability that could make him attractive. With D-Ward having so many injury issues, his value may be to the Cubs in having a left-handed power stick off ready in AAA.


Eric Patterson
Current Team: Iowa Cubs (AAA)
40 Man Roster: Yes
Not Rated as Prospect
Value to Other Teams: C
Value to Cubs: C+

Patterson is in an interesting position. Going into 2007, Patterson was ranked as the 7th best prospect of the Cubs according to BA and was projected as the Cubs future 2-sack. A year later, while still eligible under BA's prospect standards, E-Pat is gone from the list. The Cubs have groomed him into more of a utility player; it would take a scout to see him as a potentially every day 2-sack for a team to covet him. And there is always the lingering personnel issues...the issues that got him demoted from the Bigs last September. I have a feeling some scouts like him, other don't.


Rich Hill
Current Team: AZL Cubs/Iowa Cubs (AAA) D.L.
40 Man Roster: Yes
Too much experience to qualify as prospect
Value to Other Teams: C
Value to Cubs: C

Rich Hill's trade value has bottomed out, given the fact that he is now 1 for 2 in pitching well at Rookie ball. Officially, he couldn't be traded right now, because he's on the D.L., but could be the PTBNL in a trade. I don't see the Cubs being this desparate. A team could potentially be "stealing" a #2 starter and I don't see the Cubs doing this. He has a lot of value long term, as guy's rarely fall off that quickly without coming back a little. I think all Cubs fans believe he still has the ability to come back this year and be productive, and I think management agrees.


Felix Pie
Current Team: Iowa Cubs (AAA)
40 Man Roster: Yes
Too much experience to qualify as prospect
Value to Other Teams: C
Value to Cubs: C-

What a predicament. Everyone looks at Pie and see's C-Pat, and the way Pie has played, it's hard not to. But the Cubs will still need a CF next year and beyond, and there's no reason to sell low on Pie. Everyone needs to remember that he is still only 23 years old, so his best years should be ahead of him. Maybe he won't turn into the superstar the Cubs predicted, but now is not the time to dump him. The Cubs tend to overvalue their own prospects, so I don't see them getting rid of Pie at his lowest value.


Matt Craig
Current Team: Tennessee Smokies (AA)
40 Man Roster: NoNot Rated as Prospect
Value to Other Teams: C
Value to Cubs: C-

Matt Craig reminds me a lot of Micah Hoffpauir. He is a tremendous hitter who has some injury problems. Both play first base and both are getting too old to be considered prospects (Craig is 27). Essentially, as Hoff has moved up the ladder, Craig as followed one step behind. But there are a few differences. Hoff has made it to the Bigs and played decently, Craig hasn't. Hoff has a bit more power, and a few less injuries in his history. A team with a need may give Craig a shot, as he is a extremely patient hitter (38 walks to 25 K's) and a talented one (hitting .341).


Matt Murton
Current Team: Chicago Cubs
40 Man Roster: Yes
Too much experience to qualify as prospect
Value to Other Teams: C
Value to Cubs: D-

Of all the players on this list, Matt Murton is the most likely to be traded, because the Cubs simply have no need for him. Murton is a former first round pick who hits for high average. And that's about it. He doesn't hit for power, run well, or play defense. Teams, including the Cubs, are high on his hitting ability and have been surprised by his lack of power (he has tree trunks for legs, so they should be surprised) and some believe he'll still develop a power stroke. He is essentially a one-position guy, limiting his trade value. But the Cubs, Murton, and other MLB teams know that a change of scenery could help his progress.


Josh Vitters
Current Team: Tennessee Smokies (AA)
40 Man Roster: No
Baseball America Ranking: #1 prospect
Baseball Prospectus Ranking: #2 prospect
Value to Other Teams: C-
Value to Cubs: C+

Vitters may be the top prospect the Cubs have, but he is far from being traded. His only success so far has been in Boise over the past month. Long-term, his need will be determined by how quickly he develops and what the Cubs do with ARam, but the Cubs aren't concerned about that now. The Cubs aren't going to trade the their top prospect when his value is so low, and while teams may be willing to take him, he isn't going to be the centerpiece of any trade like a #3 overall pick should be.


Carmen Pignatiello
Current Team: Iowa Cubs (AAA)
40 Man Roster: Yes
Not Rated as Prospect
Value to Other Teams: C-
Value to Cubs: D+

Pignatiello's trade value lies in the fact that he is a left-handed reliever. After a solid 2007 season, he has struggled, both in the majors and at Iowa. He is 25 years old and is averaging more than a strikeout an inning at Iowa, so scouts may still see some upside in him. The Cubs only used him twice during his cup of coffee, so there opinion of him seems to be down (preferring other lefties).


Jake Fox
Current Team: Tennessee Smokies (AA)
40 Man Roster: Yes
Not Rated as Prospect
Value to Other Teams: C-
Value to Cubs: D

Fox is and always has been a good hitter, but his work behind the plate made the Cubs move him around the field, and he now plays mostly OF. He has the power to be a corner OF in the majors, but the soon to be 26 year old needs to find a groove soon or watch his value plummet. There are a lot of guys who have decent power, but nothing else to bring to the table. A team isn't likely to covet Fox, based on what he offers right now.


Josh Donaldson
Current Team: Peoria Chiefs (A Ball)
40 Man Roster: No
Baseball America Ranking: #7 prospect
Baseball Prospectus Ranking: #5 prospect
Value to Other Teams: D+
Value to Cubs: C-

Donaldson has struggled mightily at the plate and has only a year of professional baseball on which to judge. He was a 1st round supplemental pick from last year, but given his struggles, he isn't likely to be one of the highly-rated prospects next year, if he is rated at all. His future may or may not be as a catcher. The Cubs probably aren't going to give up on him so quickly and I don't see team clamoring for a guy who's hitting under .220 in the Midwest League.


Mike Fontenot
Current Team: Chicago Cubs
40 Man Roster: Yes
Too much experience to qualify as prospect
Value to Other Teams: D+
Value to Cubs: D

'lil Mikey isn't likely to be traded for a number of reasons. One, he is a one-position player; second base (See Murton, Matt). Two, he seems to have a good chemistry with his teammates (The Riot, Z, etc.). I probably over-value team chemistry, but I think it's important for those guys who sit on the bench every game to be good teammates. Three, he really isn't a prospect. He wasn't considered a prospect when the Cubs acquired him in the Sosa deal, and now he's 28 years old. He is a scrapper, but not the kind of guy teams are going to be coveting in a trade.


Jeff Samardzija
Current Team: Iowa Cubs (AAA)
40 Man Roster: Yes
Baseball America Ranking: #8 prospect
Baseball Prospectus Ranking: #11 prospect
Value to Other Teams: D
Value to Cubs: F

If you are reading this from top to bottom, you may have assumed that I missed Jeff ND. But I didn't. He has a no-trade clause in his contract and given his on-field performance so far, I'm not sure how many teams would want his $10M contract over some of the Cubs other prospects.


Sam Fuld
Current Team: Tennessee Smokies (AA)
40 Man Roster: Yes
Not Rated as Prospect
Value to Other Teams: D-
Value to Cubs: D

Fuld's star has fallen fast. A Cub Fans and Lou Pinella favorite primarily for hitting the brick wall with reckless abandon, Fuld was thought to have a shot at the starting CF job in the spring, despite having never been considered a Cubs prospect until a strong showing during the '07 Fall league. But Fuld played poorly at Iowa, and hasn't faired much better at Tennessee. He will be 27 in December and his ability to return to the majors has to be questioned. A team may give him a shot at being a backup CF, but given his struggles in the minors, he probably is on the downside of his career.

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