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Would Cubs Trade With Dodgers For Pitching?

By bullpenbrian at 11.13.2012 4 comments.

We’ve talked a lot about the possible free-agent signings for the Cubs this offseason. How about some trade chatter?

The Dodgers’ surplus in starting pitching could make Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang available this winter according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.

Neither player is a ‘perfect fit’ for the Cubs, but that shouldn’t stop Chicago from exploring trade possibilities.

Capuano and Harang are a bit long-in-the-tooth (both are in their mid 30s) but both are healthy, have manageable contracts, are coming off productive seasons and would provide an upgrade to the Cubs’ rotation.

Assuming the Dodgers have a reasonable asking price, that’s pitching worth trading for–if the Cubs are truly committed to being more competitive in 2013.

If I had to pick one over the other I’d lean towards Capuano because of his left-handedness (he’s also a year younger). But add either one with Scott Baker, who the Cubs signed on Tuesday, and Chicago suddenly has the minimal of two starters it was looking for this offseason.

That would be a good start to an offseason in which Team Theo is in hot pursuit of starting depth, most of which will come with considerable risk, like Baker, who’s recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Capuano and Harang have their drawbacks, too. But landing one of these guys gives Chicago the potential to field a competitive rotation next year, and that’s worth the cost of giving up a Carlos Marmol or a Josh Vitters to have that chance.

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4 Comments

  1. merril says:

    Remind me again how valuable Marmol and Vitters are if not for trading.

    • bullpenbrian says:

      Believe it or not, Marmol still has some value to the Cubs because its bullpen stinks.

      But we know Carlos isn’t a long-term solution…and we also know how unreliable he is at times.

      Vitters is still too green in his development to be the Cubs’ everyday third baseman and might be another year or two away from being a regular.

      His bat could surprise us this spring, but his glove work isn’t up to par and doesn’t project to be anything more than slightly above average.

      The longer the Cubs have to wait to trade either player, the more their trade value declines.

      If Chicago can move either guy to better support the rebuild, I’m all for it.

  2. J-Huff says:

    I think if they go that route, they’ll wait and see how the free agent market unfolds. Those types of pitchers are a dime a dozen. If management has trouble convincing anyone to come to Chicago for 2013, they may have to trade for someone else’s average pitcher.

    The Scott Baker signing fascinates me. He’s one of those players who typically scores pretty well on “WAR.” It looks like it could be one of those signings based on sabermetric data and whatever computer analysis that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer use. If he can bounce back from TJS, $5.5 million could be a major steal.

    • bullpenbrian says:

      Capuano & Harang just happen to be the most visible names available at the preset time. Although, I’m obviously on record as saying I like the idea of adding Capuano if he can be had for a fair return in a trade.

      However, I do agree it’s not necessarily a move the Cubs couldn’t sit on for a few more week as the FA market unfolds…always best to have options.

      I like the Baker signing, too. He unquestionably fits the mold of the Cubs new stat-heads regime (with no disrespect intended). Mostly, I’m high on his minuscule walk rate and what Epstein described as Baker having an understanding of the importance of following a game-plan (I’m looking at you Volstad).

      I’m not overlooking the TJS, however. Sure, pitchers are returning to form better than ever these days after TJ, but it still takes time to make a full recovery and there’s little guarantee he’ll return to being the same productive pitcher he once was in Minnesota.

      But he’s exactly the low-risk, high-reward players the Cubs were targeting this offseason. Right now it appears to be a quality signing. Fingers crossed.

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