According to the Chicago Cubs official active roster they have six outfielders. Most teams today carry no more than four, which means that the Cubs will likely be looking to trade at least two (if not more) of their outfielders in the coming week. Here are the chances that each outfielder will be moved before the July 31st trade deadline. (stats per ESPN.com & baseball-reference.com)
Emilio Bonifacio: .263, 11 dbl and 13 sb
Bonifacio was a sure thing to be traded a month a go as he was poised to be one of the best leadoff men available. However, poor months of May and June, in which he hit just .214 and .189, combined with a month long stint on the disabled list has really hurt his value. Bonifacio will still draw interest from a number of teams but given the disappearance of Luis Valbuena the Cubs may want to keep Bonifacio in the mix as a utility man in the future.
Chris Coghlan: .273, .353 opb, 5 HR
The Cubs picked up the 2009 rookie of the year this past off-season for next to nothing and had very low expectations for the 29-year-old outfielder. For the first two months of the season Coghlan met those low expectations but since the beginning of July he has been on fire, hitting .397. Coghlan has boosted his value exponentially and the only question remaining is, is his value greater to the Cubs or to someone else?
Junior Lake: .214, 9 HR, 7 sb
As discussed yesterday, Junior Lake hasn’t been as bad has his season stats indicate. At just 24 years old Lake is still very young and very raw in the outfield. He is a big, strong kid who has shown flashes of greatness but probably not enough to entice another team to make an offer for him. If anything, Lake has a better chance of being sent back to Iowa than he does of being traded in the next week.
Justin Ruggiano: .291, .357 obp, 4 HR
Justin Ruggiano, Like Chris Coghlan, was a cheap pick-up for the Cubs in the off-season, but his expectations were much higher. Ruggiano hit 18 home runs for the Miami Marlins in 2013 and the Cubs were hoping that he could add some much-needed thump to their lineup this year. However, significant time on the disabled list has stunted Ruggiano’s power numbers but a tremendous month of July (hitting .377) has really helped his value. Ruggiano’s solid track record will draw a number of suitors and his 2 million dollar salary gives the Cubs a good enough reason to try and move him.
Nate Schierholtz: .199, 5 HR, 31 RBI
After a career year in 2013, Nate Schierholtz has been absolutely terrible in 2014. He hasn’t hit above .200 in a month since the month of May (.202) and the only thing earning him playing time nowadays is his defense. A little more than a month ago Schierholtz was considered a lock to be moved but with his continued struggles and his diminishing playing time (just 22 ab in his last 10 games) it as become increasingly hard to make build a market for the 30-year-old outfielder. The Cubs would love to dump what’s left of Schierholtz’s 5 million dollar contract but it may be hard to find a suitor. However, getting rid of him is still a top priority.
Ryan Sweeney: .214, 1 HR, 11 RBI
Ryan Sweeney is yet another Cubs’ outfielder that has spent significant time on the disabled list this year. The Cubs would love to dump the remainder of his 3.5 million dollar salary but, given his performance and the fact that he is under contract through next season, that is unlikely. Plus, unlike Nate Schierholtz, Sweeney is on the upswing, hitting .265 in the month of July. Assuming he plays well in 2015, Sweeney will most likely be a better trade option next summer.
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