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Chicago Cubs Trade Rumors: Latest Updates, News and Reaction

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2014

Chicago Cubs Trade Rumors: Latest Updates, News and Reaction

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    Rob Foldy/Getty Images

    The rebuilding process in Chicago has continued into the 2014 MLB season, so as the July 31 MLB trade deadline approaches, the Cubs should be one of the biggest sellers.

    In recent years, the Cubs have just been looking to shed salary by trading away veterans during the season. However, they have some serious trade chips this year that could help speed up the rebuilding process.

    As the trade deadline approaches, contenders will be looking to boost their postseason chances by trading for good arms. Perhaps the best arm on the market, Jeff Samardzija, resides in the Windy City.

    Chicago has some good, young pieces in Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo. It may be able to contend in the near future if it is able to acquire some solid players at this year's deadline. With the arms that the Cubs have to offer, they could be big winners at this year's deadline.

    Make sure to keep checking back here to see what rumors the Cubs are involved in or what deals the team makes as the MLB trade deadline approaches.

Done Deals

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    July 4: Cubs trade RHP Jeff Samardzija and RHP Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for SS Addison Russell, OF Billy McKinney, RHP Dan Straily and a player to be named later/cash

    July 22: Designated 2B Darwin Barney for assignment

    July 28: Traded 2B Darwin Barney to the Los Angeles Dodgers for RHP Jonathan Martinez

    July 30: Acquired LHP Felix Doubront from the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later

    July 31: Traded UT Emilio Bonifacio, LHP James Russell and cash to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for C Victor Caratini

July 31: Traded UT Emilio Bonifacio and LHP James Russell to Braves

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    The Chicago Cubs finished a busy month by trading Emilio Bonifacio and James Russell to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for catching prospect Victor Caratini.

    Bonifacio hit .279 with two home runs, 14 doubles and three triples in his only season with the Cubs. His speed and versatility helped the team's offense, so that will be something that the team has to replace. The utility man was only signed through the end of this season, so the Cubs decided to try to get something in return.

    Russell had a 3.51 ERA and a 1.200 WHIP in 44 games this season. The southpaw had posted a career 3.87 ERA in 316 games over four and a half seasons with the Cubs. He is signed through the 2015 season, but he had enough value to help Chicago build for the future.

    The Cubs gave up a lot in this deal but were able to acquire the Braves' seventh-ranked prospect in Caratini.

    The switch-hitting catcher was Atlanta's second-round pick in the 2013 draft. He hit .290 in rookie ball last year and moved up to Single-A this year. He was hitting .279 with five home runs, 18 doubles and four triples this season.

    Caratini projects to be a good contact hitter with some power. He has a strong arm, which helps him play catcher or third base. The 20-year-old isn't going to make an impact in the majors anytime soon, but he could be force in the middle of the Cubs lineup in the future.

July 30: Cubs Acquire LHP Felix Doubront from the Boston Red Sox

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    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    The Chicago Cubs have acquired starting pitcher Felix Doubront from the Boston Red Sox, according to Fox Sports' Jon MorosiThe Boston Globe's Pete Abram reported that the Red Sox will receive a player to be named later.

    Doubront was 2-4 with a 6.07 ERA and a 1.601 WHIP in 17 games, including 10 starts, for with the Red Sox this season. 

    Before this season, the southpaw had shown some promise. He won 11 games with a 4.86 ERA in 2012 and followed that up with 11 wins and a 4.32 ERA last season.

    A change of scenery could be exactly what Doubront needed. He was 0-3 with an 8.04 ERA in nine home games (six starts) this season. He was 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA in eight games (four starts) away from Fenway Park.

    The 26-year-old is under club control through 2017 and has yet to become eligible for arbitration. This is a move that the Cubs made to hopefully help speed up the rebuilding process. 

July 28: Cubs Trade Darwin Barney to Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    The Chicago Cubs have traded second baseman Darwin Barney to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a player to be named later, according to WSCR-AM's Bruce Levine. The Dodgers announced that they sent right-handed pitcher Jonathan Martinez to the Cubs to complete the trade.

    The trade comes less than a week after they designated Darwin Barney for assignment. 

    Barney debuted with Chicago back in 2010 and has been the team's second baseman on a regular basis starting in 2011. 

    He hit .276 during his rookie season, but he has not been able to put up numbers anywhere close to that since then. Last season, he hit only .208. He was hitting .230 with two home runs, 10 doubles and two triples in 72 games this season.

    Barney was a terrific defender for the Cubs, winning the Gold Glove in 2012.

     

Cubs Not Inclined to Trade Justin Ruggiano

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    Although he is drawing interest, the Cubs do not appear willing to trade Justin Ruggiano.

    CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported that the New York Yankees are among the teams interested in Ruggiano. However, Chicago believes that it would be better off with Ruggiano next season than it would be with a prospect.

    The 32-year-old is hitting .293 with four home runs and 12 doubles in his first season in the Windy City.

    Ruggiano can play all three outfield positions and is a career .258 hitter. For a player like that who is under club control for two more seasons, it doesn't make much sense to deal him.

Cubs Will Not Trade Jake Arrieta at 2014 Deadline

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    The Chicago Cubs have already dealt away a few starting pitchers, but don't expect Jake Arrieta to go anywhere at this year's deadline. CSNChicago.com's David Kaplan reported that a National League scout said the Cubs have made it known that they aren't trading the pitcher.

    Arrieta is 5-2 with a 2.18 ERA and a 1.011 WHIP in 15 starts this season. He has 99 strikeouts to only 26 walks in 91 innings this season.

    The 28-year-old hasn't hit arbitration yet and is under club control through the 2017 season. There is absolutely no rush to trade him.

    Chicago is going through a rebuilding process, and having an arm like Arrieta's on the team will help the process go a little quicker.

Cubs Are Unlikely to Make a Deal for David Price

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    As unlikely as it may seem, the Chicago Cubs have been linked to David Price. However, it's doesn't appear that the it's a realistic land spot, according to USA Today Sports' Bob Nightengale.

    The Cubs are clearly in rebuilding mode, which means prospects are important to them. Nightengale tweeted that the team has "zero interest" in trading for the ace because it is unwilling to deal any of its top prospects.

    Price began being linked to the Cubs after he said the Windy City would be the "coolest" place to win a World Series.

    The southpaw is 11-7 with a 3.08 ERA this season. He leads the league in innings pitched (163.2) and in strikeouts (183) through 22 starts.

    Price is under club control through next season. If the Rays fall out of contention this week, they may be willing to trade him.

Cubs Are Looking to Trade RHP Edwin Jackson

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    It was just a year and a half ago that the Chicago Cubs made a big splash by signing Edwin Jackson to a four-year, $52 million deal. Unfortunately for Chicago, that deal hasn't turned out to be very smart.

    Now, the Cubs are looking to deal the veteran, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. The team may want to deal the pitcher, but nobody is biting.

    In his first season with the Cubs, Jackson went 8-18 with a 4.98 ERA and a 1.460 WHIP. The results haven't been any better this year. He is 5-10 with a 5.61 ERA and a 1.563 WHIP through his first 20 starts. He also has 100 strikeouts to 49 walks in 110.2 innings pitched this season.

    Jackson's contract makes him tough to move. He is making $11 million this season and each of the next two seasons.

    Chicago may want to move him, but between his performance and his contract, he will be tough to deal.

Starlin Castro Is Reportedly Drawing Trade Interest

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    The Chicago Cubs have Javier Baez and Addison Russell in the minors, but it doesn't look like they are looking to move Starlin Castro.

    Fox Sports' Jon Morosi tweeted that although Castro is drawing some trade interest, the Cubs don't intend to trade their starting shortstop.

    After a down year in 2013, Castro has bounced back nicely this season.

    The 24-year-old is hitting .276 with 11 home runs, 26 doubles and 52 RBI this season. If he keeps up the pace, he will easily set career-highs in home runs, doubles and runs batted in. He already has 25 walks this season; his career-high for a season is 36.

    Castro is signed through 2019, with a $16 million team option for 2020, to a team-friendly contract. He will not make $10 million in a season until 2018, so for a player of his talent, that is very affordable.

    After the Cubs acquired Russell earlier this month, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said, via CSNChicago.com's Patrick Mooney, that Castro is "a centerpiece-type guy for this organization."

    Chicago has plenty of talent at shortstop within the organization, but it doesn't appear that the Cubs are looking to trade their three-time All-Star.

July 4: Cubs Trade RHP Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland Athletics

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    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    The Chicago Cubs and the Oakland Athletics have pulled off what will likely be the biggest trade of the season.

    The Cubs traded Samardzija and right-handed pitcher Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for shortstop Addison Russell, outfielder Billy McKinney and right-handed pitcher Dan Straily, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. The Cubs will also receive a player to be named later or cash, according to FOX Sports' Jon Morosi.

    After failing to sign Jeff Samardzija to a long-term extension, the Chicago Cubs decided to trade away the ace. Outside of Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price, no player will be able to affect a pennant race the way Samardzija could. The 29-year-old has spent his entire seven-year career with the Cubs and just continues to get better.

    Samardzija has been having a career year in 2014. He has posted a 2.83 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP in 108 innings through the first 17 starts of the season. Of course, Samardzija (2-7) is the perfect example as to why a pitcher's record doesn't tell the whole story.

    Hammel isn't on the same level as Samardzija, but the right-hander was having a good season. Hammel was 8-5 with a 2.98 ERA for the Cubs.

    The Cubs were likely going to trade both pitchers at some point this season, and they were even expected to wait as long as possible to try to get maximum value. Apparently, the A's offered more than the Cubs believed they could get anywhere else.

July 4: Acquired SS Addison Russell, OF Billy McKinney and RHP Dan Straily

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    SS Addison Russell

    Age: 20

    Bats: R

    Level before trade: Double-A

     

    OF Billy McKinney

    Age: 19

    Bats: L

    Level before trade: High-A

     

    RHP Dan Straily

    Age: 25

    Level before trade: MLB

     

    In the first major trade of the 2014 MLB season, the Cubs acquired shortstop Addison Russell, outfielder Billy McKinney and right-handed pitcher Dan Straily from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for right-handed pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

    Russell and McKinney were Oakland's top two prospects, according to MLBPipeline.com, and Russell is the 11th-best prospect in baseball.

    Russell has hit the cover off the ball in the minors. Between Single-A and Double-A this season, he has a slash line of .297/.400/.422 in 18 games. For his career, he has a .302/.390/.519 slash line. The shortstop has some pop to go with his good swing. He posted 56 extra-base hits last season.

    The 20-year-old doesn't have overwhelming speed, but he's very aggressive on the bases. After all, he did have 10 triples and 21 stolen bases last year.

    McKinney was selected by Oakland in the first round of the 2013 MLB draft. He was already the team's second-best prospect, so that says all you need to know. His bat is expected to allow him to hit for a decent average and power.

    The 19-year-old hit .326 in his first professional season in 2013. This season, he had a slash line of .241/.330/.400 before the trade. His average may not have been where it was a season ago, but his on-base percentage was still relatively good, and he has 10 home runs and 12 doubles.

    Dan Straily isn't as highly touted as the other two players in the deal, but he does experience in the majors. The 25-year-old was 1-2 with a 4.93 ERA in starts with the A's this season. Last season, he was 10-8 with a 3.96 ERA in 27 starts. In total, he has a 4.11 ERA in 41 career starts with the A's.

    Chicago swapped two arms that were nearing the end of their deals in exchange for two top prospects and a young arm. It's tough to imagine the team getting this much in return had it waited, so now the team can move forward and focus on the future.

Potential Trade Candidate: OF Nate Schierholtz

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    Jeffrey Phelps/Getty Images

    Although the Cubs have a few talented arms that they can deal at the deadline, Nate Schierholtz could also be a player the team could trade in order to build for the future.

    The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo wrote that Chicago will likely trade Schierholtz, although he's having a disappointing season at the plate.

    Schierholtz impressed last season with a .251 average and 21 home runs, but the 2014 season has not been as kind to him. He is hitting around .200 with only three home runs this season. His value isn't what it was at this time last year, but teams looking for a cheap bat could be interested in the outfielder.

    His road average is about 70 points higher than his home average, so a change of scenery could be in his best interest.

    Schierholtz has a .257 career average. Although his numbers are down this season, his bat will draw some interest at the deadline.

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