Major League Baseball is fast approaching the Friday non-waiver trade deadline. A team that was a major buyer in the winter, could very well be a seller this week. The San Diego Padres made several offseason splashes, but the end product has just not gelled together here in 2015. The Padres may be a team looking to sell this week, and recalculate their place in the NL West.
After years of selling, the Chicago Cubs may be ready to be a buyer this week to try and get to the postseason. The Cubs are one team that has a stocked farm system that can be very appealing for teams looking to make a move. Both the Padres and Cubs have needs and would be perfect trade partners.
San Diego could be willing to move James Shields who was signed this winter. Shields is a big-time starter, but has also logged a ton of innings on that right arm. It was one reason why it took him so long to even sign a deal this winter. The Cubs need help deepening their starting rotation. After Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, and Jason Hammel, the Cubs lack that continued punch. The fifth starter’s role has been a revolving door this season for the Cubs. Adding Shields would give Chicago a dangerous trio in a short series with Arrieta, Shields, and Lester lined up.
On the other side, the Padres desperately are in search of a centerpiece up the middle at shortstop. Since 2008, the Padres have used 17 shortstops. Generally teams need to be strong up the middle to be competitive. With Derek Norris and Wil Myers when healthy, the Padres are almost there. San Diego really needs a key piece in the middle of the infield. Chicago has three viable options that could move to the coast in exchange for Shields.
Addison Russell is least likely to be moved of the three which then leaves Starlin Castro or Javier Baez as trade pieces. Baez, who has had an up-and-down season in the minors is close to getting the big league call up in 2015. The much scrutinized Castro may very well need a change of scenery to have his talents reinvigorated.
If the two sides become trade partners this week, a deal is there for the taking. Look for the Padres to move James Shields to the Chicago Cubs at long last. Chicago was also one of the teams rumored to be in on signing Shields during the winter before he ultimately signed with the Padres. In exchange, the Cubs could send Starlin Castro and minor league pitcher Duane Underwood to the Padres. Underwood is the number 6 prospect for the Cubs, and number 94 overall to give San Diego depth on the mound.
This deal would make the Cubs ready for that playoff push this season. It will also clear up their mini log jam up the middle and set up a double play combination of Baez and Russell. This move will at long last give the Padres that much needed piece up the middle. San Diego would be able to pencil in Castro at shortstop for a long time to come.
The question is, will it happen this week as the trade deadline approaches?