7/31 Trade Deadline passes
The Trade Deadline passed on Sunday with the Cubs standing pat.
The team did not make a move by Sunday’s 3 p.m. CT deadline, although Cubs GM Jim Hendry did tweak the roster earlier in the week when he sent outfielder Kosuke Fukudome to the Indians for two Minor Leaguers on Thursday.
The move was a first step toward 2012. It’s not that outfielder Abner Abreu and pitcher Carlton Smith, who were acquired from the Indians, are close to being Major League ready. This year is the last of Fukudome’s contract with the Cubs and the team wants outfielder Tyler Colvin to play more.
Colvin was on the Opening Day roster but scuffled with part-time at-bats, hitting .191 on May 13 when he was optioned to Triple-A Iowa.
The Cubs’ No. 1 pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, Colvin batted .256 at Iowa with seven homers, 12 doubles, six triples and 32 RBIs. The hope is that with regular at-bats, he’ll find the power stroke that produced 20 homers last season. He has started two of three games since rejoining the team; Colvin was not in the lineup Sunday.
“The goal was to move a few pieces that we knew weren’t coming back,” Hendry said Friday.
If you followed the rumors on the Internet, it appeared that teams contacted the Cubs regarding Carlos Pena, Marlon Byrd and possibly Carlos Marmol. However, the reality is there was interest in players the Cubs didn’t want to part with, such as Sean Marshall and Jeff Baker.
Looking ahead, the Cubs do have a lot of money coming off the books in 2012, and are obligated for about $72.6 million, including $19 million for Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano and $14 million for Ryan Dempster. Players who are arbitration eligible include Matt Garza, Geovany Soto, Baker, Koyie Hill, Randy Wells, and Blake DeWitt.
They will have to make decisions on both Pena and Aramis Ramirez. Do they keep Pena, a solid defensive first baseman who is as advertised — a streaky hitter with power. The Cubs don’t have a first baseman in the Minor Leagues who is close to being ready.
What about Ramirez? The list of potential free agent third baseman whom Hendry can consider includes Wilson Betemit, Casey Blake, Eric Chavez, Mark DeRosa, Greg Dobbs, Edwin Encarnacion, Wes Helms, Melvin Mora, Miguel Tejada and Omar Vizquel. The Cubs’ best move may be keeping Ramirez.
Now that the non-waiver Trade Deadline has passed, deals involving players on the 40-man roster cannot be made unless the players already have cleared waivers. In other words, the player must be offered to the other teams in reverse order of the standings, and if he is claimed by one of the teams, he cannot be traded. The club that placed the player on waivers can either withdraw the request and keep the player, or let the player go to the claiming team, which would then have the rights to the player.
Last year, both Derrek Lee and Mike Fontenot were traded in August, with Lee going to the Braves and Fontenot to the Giants.
– Carrie Muskat