The title pretty much explains it. I am going to lay out 2 trade options for the Chicago Cubs based on recent rumors and talk. I will pick the one out I feel it the better of the two. I would like to hear what you would pick (if any) and why.
Pick one of the trade choices:
Cubs Get: Matt Wieters and Kevin Gausman
Orioles Get: Jeff Samardzija and Welington Castillo
This has been debated and talked about a lot throughout the Cubs blogs and websites the recent weeks. It is until recently I have been really sold on this trade (thanks to @chistyle82) and it fills two needs the front office is looking for in one trade. The Cubs are looking to get more balanced and obviously more power at the plate. Matt Wieters definitely provides that power with popping 22 or more homers the last 3 years. The other huge plus with Wieters is he bats from the left side of the plate and is a very solid backstop having caught 33% of base stealers in 5 seasons. The other thing he has going is he is only 27 years old and made $5.5M last season and two years away from free agency. The bad with Wieters is he is two years away from free agency which is the exact time the Cubs will be likely competing for the playoffs although getting him could speed up that process. The reason you can't assume (just like most would be FA) that he would sign extension it is somewhat of a risk especially with Scott Boras as his agent. But to me the good outweigh the bad when it comes to Wieters.
The other major player in this deal is potential number 1 starter Kevin Gausman. This guy is a game changer just check out his scouting report from Baseball Prospectus here. That pretty much says it all and it is rumored the O's would trade Gausman for a guy like Shark.
The O's get a replacement for Wieters who has a bright future ahead of him and is cost effective which allows them some good payroll flexibility to maybe sign Shark to an extension. The O's also get a potential #2 pitcher in Jeff to really beef up their rotation.
Cubs Get: Kyle Drabek, Sean Nolin, and Anthony Gose
Jays get: Jeff Samardzija
The Blue Jays have come out of nowhere as serious suitors for Jeff Samardzija. Bruce Levine recently tweeted that the Jays are putting together a package of young talent for Shark. The above trade is something that I could see the Cubs getting for in return for Shark. I am sure the Cubs will ask for Aaron Sanchez but it is unlikely the Jays would part ways with him plus more and the Cubs need to capitalize on any Samardzija trade with near ML ready talent where Sanchez is still two years away. So with the Jays likely unwillingness to deal Sanchez and the Cubs wanting near ML ready talent with him that does not match up. Two other big possibilities that could replace Sean Nolin and/or Kyle Drabek is Marcus Stroman and/or Drew Hutchison. Both are quality pitchers that could easily interchange with Nolin and/or Drabek. The reason I pick Drabek because he reminds me a lot of two other guys currently on the Cubs roster with Travis Wood and Jake Arrieta. Guys who were former highly regarded prospects who faltered on reason or another but turned it around when given another chance. Drabek is this guy to me. He is 25 years old and a former top 30 prospect in 2010 and 2011 but injuries have sidelined him. Seems like a buy low high reward guy the Cubs could really capitalize on.
Sean Nolin to me could be the eventually the prize of this deal. While he did not fair well in his first experience in the ML he is still only 23 year old and put up beautiful minor league numbers. Not a top 100 prospect but maybe just outside that top 100 status. Let's not forget he is a lefty which is always a plus.
The 3rd bonus item in this deal is Anthony Gose who himself was a top 50 prospect in 2012 and seems to be putting stuff together. His glove and arm in CF is major league ready and he brings speed to a lineup that is much needed posting 126 steals in the past 3 season in the minors. He brings in the coveted helps the now and the future at only being 23 as well.
The Jays are always looking to get better and their GM has a history for flare in trades so getting a guy like Jeff Samardzija to his rotation makes a lot of sense. The Jays are in win now mode and cannot wait to see if the guys they are trading will work out or not.
My Pick: These two trades are very different but that is what makes them so appealing to me. One trade has the Cubs getting a potential #1 pitcher in Gausman and a solid ML tested and proven backstop in Wieters. The Orioles trade is more of a speed up process trade but the quantity of return is down plus the Cubs could risk losing Wieters in two years when they start competing. The trade with the Jays does not have a clear cut #1 pitcher in the mix but the potential is there. They do get quantity I this trade which stacks the farm again. In the end I do the trade with the Orioles because it gives the Cubs the left-handed power bat behind the plate plus a potential ACE that could be the opening day starter next season in Gausman.
So what would you pick and why?
Special Shout Out to @Chistyle82 on twitter. Give him a follow for good Cubs talk!