Photo Credit to: Rich Pilling/ Getty Images North America

Photo Credit: Rich Pilling/ Getty Images North America

For quite some time there have been rumors swirling about a potential trade between the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres. The Cubs are looking for some starting pitching and have interest in Tyson Ross, James Shields and Andrew Cashner to some degree.

The San Diego Padres on the other hand would likely covet Javier Baez, Kyle Schwarber, or Jorge Soler. This week it was reported by CBS Chicago’s Bruce Levine that the Padres have indeed talked to the Cubs about Soler this winter. Not exactly breaking news, but it does confirm that the two teams have at least had some dialogue with each other about the Cuban outfielder. Baez, Soler and Schwarber are all expendable to a certain degree, but each would not be easily attained from the Cubs.

With the re-signing of Dexter Fowler, the Cubs solidified their defense. Jason Heyward was to play center field, but most of his playing time has been in right field and that is where he has won his Gold Gloves. Fowler will play center, Heyward will be in right and the Cubs have a platoon of Jorge Soler and Kyle Schwarber set up to play left.

The left-handed hitting Schwarber can also do some catching, and there are reports he will indeed catch some games for the Cubs this year. He is not a great defender behind the plate and most around baseball believe his future is as a first baseman or a designated hitter. The Cubs have Anthony Rizzo locked at the first base position for the long-term and obviously Schwarber will either have to spot start at catcher, or play some left field. He is not a great outfielder and reminds me of Ryan Klesko in the outfield. All though Klesko was Jesse Owens compared to the slow-footed Schwarber.

Soler would probably be the player with the most value for the Cubs. He gives them a long-term answer in the outfield and is more of a “fit” for the team. Schwarber needs to either go to an American League team where he can DH or he needs to be on a team where he can play first base solely.

That brings us to Javier Baez who has unreal power. He also swings and misses at an unbelievable rate and has some question marks about his defense. Some reports are that he could be an above-average defender at shortstop while other reports indicate he is more of a second baseman or third baseman. Either way it is obvious that this young man can hit. The ball just jumps off his bat and there are no doubts he is nearly major-league ready.

The Cubs have Addison Russell as their shortstop and have no need for Baez to play the position. The Cubs also signed Ben Zobrist this winter and he could play left field or shortstop if needed. Zobrist is currently set to be the starting second baseman and Kris Bryant is obviously the starting third baseman so Baez has no place to play. He is very much expendable and there were reports he was close to being dealt to the Tampa Bay Rays earlier this offseason. The potential trade fell through, but it was reported that the Cubs were seeking pitching from the Rays. The Padres’ starting staff is a strength and each could be attained for the right price.

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About The Author

James E. Clark

Lifelong Major League Baseball fan who dreams of freshly cut infield grass and long high fly balls to the outfield... "Baseball Mirrors Life"... You will find his work on his website/blog, a site written for San Diego Padres and San Diego Chargers fans.

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8 Responses

  1. David_N_Wilson

    I don’t think “most believe” Schwarber is going to play 1st Base or DH… He’s a decent catcher without enough experience, and a passable outfielder who has trimmed down and worked hard over the winter… also, there is no chance that Chicago would sit still for his being traded… Soler is the bargaining chip, if there is one.

    • Sonny Wright

      David,if u notice James Clark writes for the San Diego Pods. So of course he talks down Schwarber and Soler, Cashner is struggling Shields is on the downside of his career. What happens if Rizzo gets hurt you can always make a trade mid June or late July. Hang tough Theo.

  2. nick

    Good article. I just wanted to point out though that Schwarber won’t be moved. He has been reported as “Theo’s Baby” on the score radio station numerous times and his bat has way too much upside for them to consider moving.
    I feel like Baez would have been moved long ago if not for the arrival of Madden. Madden and Hoyer have not agreed on Baez related issues in the past. Madden was a huge believer of Baez and wanted him on the opening day roster last year out of camp and Hoyer wanted him in AAA. Madden said he didn’t want to rock the boat being the new guy and deferred to Hoyer’s judgment.
    It’s not every day you find a player with Baez’s tools at this early of an age. The power for a kid his size is ridiculous and the fact he can play any position is eye opening.
    The Cubs could be holding out another year to see what happens with the potential of the DH being introduced to the National league next season. I think Soler and Baez both will lose a lot of at bats this season due to the unexpected signing of Fowler and the other additions.
    For me as a life long Cubs fan I was looking forward to the kids they all drafted and signed being the one’s that put it all together and won the world series. There are a lot of veterans involved now and I know a mix is needed but to me I was really sold on watching the kids do it!!

    • willycat

      Would much rather see more of Soler and Schwarber than Fowler, who in my opinion is a 4h outfielder.

      • nick

        Yea at this point me too. I was really looking forward to Soler and Schwarber getting 450-500 at bats. Soler figured it out in the postseason and looked like a prime candidate for a huge break out season given the at bats. Maybe they plan on gradually progressing considering there will be a DH next season most likely in the NL but then what about Baez?? Fowler is a good player but I want to see the kids!

      • willycat

        Agee, yet maybe they will relizeut half way through the season that Hayward is much better then Fowler in CF and his bat s not even close to Soler, Schwarber or Baez. Also they could possibly trade him in a package for pitching.

      • BigJonLilJon

        Soler will be counted on next year when Fowler leaves. I love me some Schwarber, but I fear he will never hit above 260. As you stated, Soler figured it out in the post season and has a bright future. I still say leave things alone. At least until the deadline. I think a lot depends on how these guys are doing, injuries, and what evaluations the front office has on the kids in the minors like Almora, Mckinney, and even Vogelbomb.
        In the play offs, all we really need is 3 starters for the most part. If Jake, Lester, and Lackey are healthy and performing, we will be fine.

      • Sonny Wright

        At present they need a lead off man and Fowler is the best man for that. like mentioned b4 he can always be traded late in the yr.They need him to set the table for the big guns.

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