Jed Hoyer expects some Cubs trade activity
BY GORDON WITTENMYER Staff Reporter July 29, 2014 10:29PM
Updated: July 30, 2014 5:01PM
Cubs infielder Emilio Bonifacio drove in two runs with a homer in the fourth inning Tuesday night against the Colorado Rockies. But did he drive up his trade value enough to trigger a deal that brings the Cubs a nice prospect before Thursday’s trade deadline?
Outfielder Nate Schierholtz didn’t draw the right interest at last year’s deadline to inspire the Cubs to move him during a breakout season. But does his lame-duck status — and the recent injuries to outfielders in Atlanta and Washington — mean he’s more likely to get traded even during this down season?
These are the kinds of issues Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer expected to start shaking out Wednesday. The non-waiver trade deadline is 3 p.m. Thursday.
‘‘It wouldn’t surprise me if we make no moves, but I’d say I
expect to be active,’’ Hoyer said
before the game against the Rockies. ‘‘[Wednesday’s] sort of moving day. I would expect that things will be a lot more serious as we move into [Wednesday]. People have some reluctance on the last day. You get too close to the deadline and you can kind of cut short your medical process and things like that. So as you get close to [Wednesday] evening, that’s usually when a lot of people will start to hone in on the deals they want to make.’’
The Cubs already made the deal of the month so far, shipping Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics for a package centered around touted shortstop prospect Addison Russell.
But the first confirmed sellers of the season have several more pieces to shop, primarily pending free agents such as Bonifacio and Schierholtz.
De facto ace Jake Arrieta has drawn some interest, but the Cubs have no intention of trading the right-hander they acquired last July from the Baltimore Orioles.
Short of blow-me-away offers, the Cubs are telling teams they don’t plan to trade some of their more productive role players under club control, including outfielder Justin Ruggiano and trade-rumor star James Russell.
Hoyer said it’s ‘‘certainly’’ possible the Cubs will trade a player under club control beyond this year. But, he added, ‘‘We’ve been pretty aware of moving those guys as we think about how we put this team together next year. The free-agent markets are pretty thin now, and if you trade a guy that’s under club control, unless you have a prospect who can do that same job, all that means is you’re right back on the market this winter trying to find virtually the same skill set.
‘‘We’re certainly aware of that, and obviously the price [in trades] on the guys that are under club control reflects that.’’
NOTE: General manager Jed Hoyer wouldn’t comment specifically on free-agent Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo except to confirm the Cubs are among many teams pursuing him. Five teams had officials at the speedy leadoff prospect’s open workout.
After overspending themselves out of this year’s capped international market, the Cubs could be very competitive for Castillo, 26, who is not subject to the caps because of his age. The Cubs are flush with payroll flexibility after pocketing money they dedicated last winter for their bid on Masahiro Tanaka.