Soriano's broken hand maybe not that bad after all. With Soriano being out the Cubs have turned their attention to players such as Micah Hoffpauier, Eric Patterson, and Matt Murton, and they all have been doing quite well. Hoffpauier is hitting .400 with a .432 OBP in just 35. He has been a stud! While Eric Patterson helped his numbers last night, putting his avg. to .318 with 1 homer, 5 RBI, and 2 SB in just 22 ABs. Murton is up to .273 with 4 RBI and really improving.
So what does all this mean. It means the Cubs all the sudden have improved their chances to land a top tier starter at the deadline. They have all the pieces in my opinion to land a pitcher like Bedard, Sabathia, or Harden.
The thing that better improves the chances of landing a big named pitcher is the fact that the Cubs are pretty well set in the outfield( with the platoon of Edmonds and Johnson), the infield( we have the best depth in the majors), bullpen( we could get another reliever but we are still strong), and bench( still very strong and have good talent in Iowa as well to fill the role). So the Cubs have a leg up on a team like the Brewers, Mets, Yanks, and Phillies because they will also setting their eyes on another bat, reliever, or bench. While the Cubs put all their time, energy, and prospects together to land one big pitcher.
I think the Cubs will land a great #1 or #2 starter before the trade deadline passes. Here is the order I would go with-
1. Sabathia- Lefty, big power pitcher, good health, and will come over from the American League which is a bonus.
2. Harden- The guys is straight up nasty, not to mention cheap money wise. 4.5 million this year and 7 million next year. He does have some health concerns but when healthy he is a number 1 starter.
3. Bedard- A good lefty with some health issues but has number 1 stuff. He could come kind of cheap because the M's might fire sale and start over.
4. Burnett- Again some health issues and could opt out of his contract but has good number 2 stuff. When he is on, he is unhittable and he would like to become a Cub.
5. Harang- Not going to happen but they say he is available so why not give it a try. He still has 3 years 30.75 million left on this contract which is affordable these days.
6. Wolf- Another decent option if the others fall through the cracks but he is a #4 at best.
7. Maddog- Not a bad choice, can pitch in big games, still has good stuff, and I would love to see him back in that sweet Cubs' blue!
I think the Cubs will land one of these pitchers and here is to hoping it is one of the top 3!