The baseball season isn’t yet two months old, and it already feels like a lost cause. Supporters of Theo Epstein and his crew will cry out about looking to future and maybe contending in a few years, and they could one day be proven right about that. But as of right now, the Chicago Cubs find themselves in a 13-game hole in the NL Central. And even in the era of two wild-card teams in each league, the Cubs won’t be contending for either of those spots this year.
What does this mean? That’s easy: Expect the Chicago Cubs to sell, sell, sell at the trading deadline. Alfonso Soriano has 5-and-10 rights, but don’t you think he’d rather be in a playoff race come September? Matt Garza is now back in the starting rotation, but signing him to a long-term, free-agent deal after this season won’t happen. He’ll be traded (since he has no 5-and-10 rights) for three or four prospects right around the trade deadline. The only thing he’ll be doing for the next two months is improving his trade value, hopefully.
So, what else do the Chicago Cubs have after those two are gone? Nobody will want Carlos Marmol, that’s for certain. And trading one of the players brought in during Epstein’s short tenure — as was done with Paul Maholm last year — is certainly a possibility. But at the big-league level, the pickings appear to be very slim. There seems to be little doubt that the Chicago Cubs will be one of the sellers again this year. The rebuilding continues.