When talking about the Chicago Cubs it is hard not to think of the draft as their Superbowl. So if the draft is their Superbowl then the trade deadline is their Stanley Cup! Hopefully soon we will talk about the Cubs as buyers at the deadline and not sellers but in the post we are going to check out the Shark trade market. We know just about every team would love Shark on their roster contender or not. Although; not all these teams will be as “in” on Shark as the others. So we are going to try to eliminate some of the teams first. Teams that are currently out of playoff contention which I will exclude from the Shark Sweepstakes are the Rays, Diamondbacks, Phillies, Reds, and Padres. Next; lets omit the teams that have pressing needs in other places than pitcher which would be the Rangers, Cardinals, and Red Sox. After that lets omit teams that simply do not have the farm system or tradable ML players to acquire Jeff Samardzija on their own which would be the Tigers, Angels, Yankees, Mariners, and White Sox. Next lets remove the teams that are not likely to go all in for Shark for one reason or another which would be the Mets, Astros, Indians, Twins, Brewers, and Pirates. Now as many as 12 teams have been linked to Shark in the past but obviously only one team will pay up for his services before the trade deadline. The teams I see as legit contenders (not just talkers) are the Blue Jays, Orioles, Royals, Athletics, Giants, Braves, Dodgers, Marlins, Nationals, and Rockies.
So over the next few weeks I will be highlighting 2 of the teams above and then the top 2 guys in each team that the Cubs will likely target in a deal for Shark.
Let’s start it off with some likely suitors….
Drew Hutchinson: The 23 year old pitcher has been solid this year posting a 3.96 ERA in 13 starts all while striking out 67 in 75 innings pitching for the big league club. His 8 SO to 2.8 BB per 9 looks pretty good on paper but seeing this guy pitch just shows he has the potential to be something special in the majors. Read the scouting report on him back in March of 2012 byprospectinstinct.com.
Marcus Stroman: This is the grand prize for the Cubs front office. They have been linked to him for quite some time now and there is a reason why! In his small sample size in the majors he is posting a high ERA of 5.18 but his 7.8 SO to 1.1 BB ratio per 9 shows the potential of a top of the rotation pitcher. I look at his major league stats in the backdrop of his minor league numbers which are far more impressive and found here. He is the arguably the Jays best top prospect in their system.
Note: While I like Aaron Sanchez I believe the Cubs are going to want ready or a near ready pitching piece as the main piece for Shark. I am not saying they won’t be interested in Sanchez I just believe Hutchinson and Stroman are more appealing. Sanchez would have been #3 on my list.
Kevin Gausman: Scouts are split 50/50 on Gausman but I love what he offers. He has the potential to be a #1 starter which earned him the 10th best prospect in baseball according to Baseball Prospectus and the 20th best prospect in baseball according to Baseball America before 2014 started. Gausman is only 23 years old and has only seen 31 games in the minors but his numbers are nice. Sporting a 3.36 ERA over those 31 games and posting 9 SO/9 and only 2.1 BB/9. He should be a top prize for the Cubbies but don’t ask me, check out the scouting report from Baseball Prospectushere.
Dylan Bundy: The O’s number 1 prospect is coming off Tommy John Surgery but should start pitching again this month. Because his health is in the air makes him a good candidate to get dealt for the Cubs and Orioles. A 2012 Fangraphs should get you jazzed with their scouting report here.
Note: The Orioles are going to have to part with one of these pitchers to get Shark especially with the amount of action he will be getting from other teams.
Next on our list the Royals and Indians… Until Next Time…