With the numerous trade and free agency rumors surrounding the Cubs I am going to try to link some together that not only maximizes value for all teams involved but also fulfills the direction Theo and Co. are going. I will use the information obtained by rumors sites, radio, and of course my sources. This trade scenario is not a rumor by any means, I am just trying to link several rumors together in the form of one trade so here we go!
First off the rumors and news-
Cubs: They need an upgrade at 1st base but according to Theo it cannot jeopardize what they are doing for the future. The Cubs have been linked to just about everyone but Ike Davis, Kendry Morales, Prince Fielder, Mitch Moreland, among others have been talked about a lot. Now the Cubs could give up youth to get some of these players or they could dangle several of their valuable pieces like Carlos Marmol, Carlos Zambrano, Geovany Soto, or even Matt Garza to obtain a first baseman. The Cubs are also looking to get younger in the rotation as well which is why it is important to get pitching in a potential deal.
Rangers: The Rangers may have just saw their division hopes fade with the Angels signing Pujols and their former ace C.J. Wilson. Now it is rumored that the Rangers are wanting to make a splash of their own. The Rangers have been linked to Matt Garza since last season when they tried to acquire him before the Cubs did. The Cubs and Rangers have talked about a Garza trade but they said the price is too steep. The price may have been too steep before the Angels signed both Wilson and Pujols but now they are in a different position which could really favor the team dealing with them. The Rangers are reportedly going to be big players on Fielder as well in fact most think Prince likely destination is Texas. Now for the Rangers to land Prince they could shed salary but they may not be necessary according to sources close to Nolan Ryan. One thing to note is the Rangers farm system is good and they have great depth in several areas including middle infield and pitching so dealing young players in that area of the field is easier than lets say catcher.
Mets: The Mets feel they will not be relevant for at least another 2 years according to some sources. Many media outlets are reporting the Mets are putting all their players on the market with exception to David Wright. One player that could fetch several young prospects is Ike Davis which is why the Cubs and Mets have talked about him. Now the price of Ike Davis is about as steep as Garza so the Cubs would need to acquire some peices through another trade to get Ike. The Mets are looking for infield help and pitching so that is likely what they would ask for in return for Davis.
Cubs get: Ike Davis, Alex Ogando, and Martin Perez
Rangers get: Matt Garza, Carlos Marmol, and Jonathan Niese
Mets get: Jurickson Profar, Mitch Moreland, Josh Vitters, and Trey McNutt
What it takes-
Cubs: The Cubs have to get rid of some of their excess in the farm to get some top prospects in return to help them in the very near future. Giving up ML ready pitchers Garza and Marmol do clear up about $15M this season and at least $10M next season by dealing both pitchers. The Cubs are looking ahead and both Marmol and Garza are likely to be gone in 2 years when they elect free agency. The Cubs also are giving up two young prospects in the deal with Josh Vitters and Trey McNutt. Vitters really does not fit the philosphy of the new Theo era with good defense. McNutt is a player you have to give up to get the quaility you are getting in return. Josh Vitters was rated the #70 best prospect in baseball in 2010 but has sense dropped out of that discussion. Trey McNutt is ranked the 48th best prospect in baseball in 2011.
Rangers: Like I said in the opening now that the Angels have put pressure on the Rangers look for them to overpay some for the players they want. The Rangers give up two good pieces from their ML roster in Mitch Moreland and Alexi Ogando. Both are valuable pieces to the team but in the big picture they are expendable because of what they get in return. The Rangers also give up their future all-star SS Jurickson Profar who ranks in the top 10 prospects of 2012. Martin Perez is also dealt and is in the top 25 best prospects of 2012. The Rangers give up a lot but it is on par with what the Cubs had to give up to get Garza.
Mets: The Mets give up only two players but they could hold more value than some of the players that the Cubs and Rangers give up because Niese is not arbitration eligible until next season and won't be a free agent until 2016 and is only 25. Ike Davis is also not eligible for arbitration until next season and won't be a free agent until 2017. Ike is only 24 years old. Those are two very valuable pieces and worth what they received when you break it down.
Now what they receive-
Cubs: The Cubs get their first baseman of the future that is only 24 years old and Major League tested and ready. There is only a once in a great while opportunity you get a player that is under 25, has had success, and is not even arbitration eligible yet.
The Cubs also get a guy who is a young 28 years old (just over a season in the ML) and won't be arbitration eligible until 2014 and won't be ready to leave for FA until 2017. Ogando has electric stuff and is smart beyond his years.
The last guy the Cubs get for their package of players is Martin Perez. This guy has been compared to Johan Santana and rightfully so. He is only 20 years old and pitching for Texas' AAA affiliate. Projected as a number 1 or 2 starter in the Bigs he has great movement and command on his pitches. This player could start in Chicago next season if this trade were to happen.
Rangers: The Rangers just put themselves back in the drivers seat by adding Matt Garza to their rotation and Carlos Marmol to their already deep bullpen. Marmol provides insurance for Joe Nathan and would a nice 1/2 punch. The Rangers rotation is already good but got even better by adding a 25 year old lefty in Niese. When you have Garza and Niese back to back it is hard not to be worried if you are an AL west team.
Another thing that should be noted about the Rangers is I am assuming they will land Fielder to replace Moreland at 1st which makes this trade look even better for the Rangers.
Mets: After seeing Jose Reyes leave; the Mets will stop licking their wounds and start making their team look a lot better for the future. The Mets gave up two very talented players but would likely not get the talent they did trading them in separate deals. The Mets get their next Jose Reyes (Profar maybe better) in Jurickson Profar. A 18 year old that is in the top 10 best prospects in baseball on every list published.
Since the Mets have no immediate replacement for Ike Davis at first they get a more experienced older lefty bat in Mitch Moreland. He is only 26 years old and not arbitration eligible until 2014.
The two players they receive from the Cubs is Trey McNutt who is their top prospect pitcher and their top 3rd base prospect Josh Vitters who will likely replace David Wright when his contract expires.
Each team gives up quality talent but in the end all the players each team trades and receives achieves their ultimate goal and philosophy.
So did I hit the mark or miss it completely? Who is getting the better deal? Or is it fair? Feel free to comment or tweet me @HotStoveCubbies.
Until Next Time...