Alright, so the Cubs fans are panicking a bit and it is likely that this year’s team isn’t going to contend anyway. But how soon is too soon for a fire sale? I guess there’s no good answer for that, but teams probably have some kind of unwritten rule or guideline on when it’s okay to make a trade that won’t have fans freaking out too much.
Enter the Los Angeles Dodgers with their behemoth payroll and Chad Billingsley. Billingsley underwent Tommy John surgery and is expected to be out until sometime in 2014. With Zack Greinke the victim of a Carlos Quentin thrashing, Chris Capuano also out and Ted Lilly trying to rehab to fill that spot in the rotation, the Dodgers may still be one spot short and could use another able body instead of diving into their minor league depth (read: unproven). There’s probably a hint of desperation in these Dodgers as they broke the bank and outspent the entire continent of Africa to try to contend this season. They might be ripe for a trade.
Enter also the Cubs’ “best” starter, Carlos Villaneuva. Carlos has a very team-friendly contract at two years and $10MM total. He’s also been rather lucky thus far compared to his career norms. The ERA is definitely not going to last, the low hit rate isn’t going to last, and while his walks have been minimized so far this season, I doubt that’s going to last either. Matt Garza is on the mend and will hopefully come back in May sometime, while Scott Baker is doing goodness-knows-what and likely won’t come back until after the All-Star Break. But with Garza coming back hopefully soon, I’d prefer the Cubs not try to demote Travis Wood (who’s also been rather good) and to try to keep Scott Feldman in the rotation despite the fact that Feldman’s been a giant bag of suck. So Villanueva is a very enticing trade chip for a not-so-sharp GM (read: Ned Colletti). For reference, here’s one of several top prospects lists for the Dodgers organization that might be of interest to a rebuilding club such as the Cubs.
So what do you fans think? Keep or trade Carlos Villanueva?