The Cubs could entertain the idea of trading for a top tier pitcher before the trading deadline. As of right now the Cubs have Z, Lilly, Dempster, Marquis, and Gallagher filling out the rotation while Marshall rehabs and Hill continues to have setbacks. Right now the rotation is the weak point on this team( which is really not that weak). The Cubs in my opinion will have to get a top tier pitcher to really run away with the division the second half of the season.
Now as far as what pitchers are available currently, there are none. But if I know Hendry and Lou they will want a really strong rotation to take into the second half of the season and into the playoffs. I have no problem going into a series with Z, Lilly, and Dempster but the final two( Marquis and Gallagher) worry me some. Sean Gallagher has all the talent and heart in the world but how will he be once scouting catches up to him?? Marquis has been a typical 5th starter in the rotation, by no means is he a 4th starter. Then there is the issue with Marquis's attitude problem and constantly butting heads with upper management. Those are things I don't want to worry about the second half of the season.
So with that said who should the Cubs go after?? Who is rumored to be possibly shopped at the deadline?? And what would the cost be?? Lets have a look-
C.C. Sabathia- If the Indians continue to fall out of contention the will at least entertain offers for C.C.. He would come with a hefty price, probably at least Hill and Veal as starting points in negotiations for Sabathia to get in that Cubbie blue. One downfall is that his numbers are down from last year and he is in the final year of his contract.
Brad Penny- His numbers are also down but he is still a gamer and a number 1 on a lot of clubs. He has an option for next season that is worth 8.75 million which would be a steal considering pitchers his caliber are getting 12 million and higher. He would not cost as much as Sabathia but would take some decent talent to get him, they may be interested in Cedeno, Eric Patterson, or Micha Hoffpauir.
Derek Lowe- Gotta love the sinker in a hitter friendly park. He would not be considered top tier but he is better than Marquis by far. He is in the final year of his contract and would not cost as much as the two above. He is a great second half pitcher, he has 60 wins against 42 loses from July to October in his career so that would be a plus fo the Cubs.
Rich Harden- He has all the talent for a number one pitcher if he can stay healthy. The A's want a fortune for him and they should. He is 3-0 this year with a 2.60 ERA. He has a 7 million dollar option for 09 and is owed 4.5 million this year. I would love him if he stayed healthy and would cost us the farm but that is not guaranteed.
Aaron Harang- Another guy that should be available at the deadline. He is the aging expensive guy in the rotation that is blocking young cheap talent. He should be available but it is doubtful the Reds would trade him to the Cubs unless there blown away. Harang still has 3 years 36.25 million on this contract not including this year. He would look nice as a number two behind Z, not to mention you would have him locked up for the next 3 years.
These are some big names that the Cubs should look at the next month or so. To pick up one of them would be a big step to achieving their goal of winning a World Series.
If your wondering my pick, its Sabathia with Harang as a close 2nd.