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MLB Trade Deadline: Willson Contreras tops Cubs trade-chip rankings again

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Big Brother Contreras Tops the Cubs Trade-Chip Power Rankings Again originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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During his lengthy media address last week, team president Jed Hoyer was asked, in the context of the Cubs’ 10-game losing streak, if his thoughts were beginning to shift towards the trade deadline – could that even be a positive thing? an approach to take with the season already looking sunken in June.

“We talked about it last year when we were in first place until we had a long losing streak,” Hoyer said of an 11-game drift from June 25 to July 6 that saw the Cubs move up from first place. places up to nine games in a divisional race.

“At that moment, we were in a bad situation; we weren’t going to fight for the postseason,” he said. “And with that, we tried to take this bad situation and find something positive.

“So yes, I think so. It’s not 100 percent what I was thinking this morning, but it’s a fair question.”

The Cubs split the next four games after Hoyer showed up that day, heading out on a trip to Pittsburgh and St. Louis this week.

But whether or not he thought about the trade deadline that morning, he was at the center of the organization—from the guys at the club to the very top of the pecking order—on a losing streak, the season had yet to go down, the Cubs were on the rise. a pace of 101 losses and a trading deadline of August 2 in six weeks.

Last July, the Cubs replaced nine veterans, including All-Stars core Anthony Rizzo, Javi Baez and Chris Bryant, in 20 hours.

And whether so many will be sent this time may be the only unknown at the moment.

With this, we present this week’s Cubs Trading Chip Ranking:

1. Wilson Contreras (Last week: 2) – The Cubs’ most traded, loudest player returns to number one after a week-long absence, just ending the climax of his season when he got a chance to face his younger brother, William. on the field for the first time at any level.

His 3-for-5 game (he even stole base from his little brother in the first and third draws) was just one of two three-hit games in a big week of getting into the presumed National League. starting catcher in the All-Star Game — bringing his MLB offensive lead this year to .283 with 12 homers and .927 OPS on Sunday.

And keep in mind that his value in this year’s market is only increased by the universal DH – and, gradually, by the fact that he supposedly left $625,000 on the table by settling his arbitration case with the team in the middle of this month. instead of taking the Cubs to a hearing (so that the salary would be apportioned to $9.625 million instead of the $10.25 million he could have won).

2. David Robertson (last week: 1) – A rare vice against the Padres on Thursday – when he gave up a home run and a walk in a close game was all it took to knock the Cubs’ top pitcher from first place in a close game.

In particular, Robertson’s 1.82 ERA and high-leverage performance returning to his first-class type – in what is shaping up as his first full season since 2018 – is sure to get the most attention from most teams as the Cubs begin weighing offers on their trading chips; every opponent can use such a guy.

3. Jan Happ (last week: 3) – Happ is one of the Cubs’ top two hitters this year, which isn’t all that surprising as the consistency of production from week to week on both sides of the plate. Namely, he only had one extra base hit last week, but he went 9-for-25 with two walks and reached base in every game.

That performance, along with some exceptional fielding on the left and an extra year of club control after 2022, will make Hupp a top trade target for the Cubs for the next six weeks – unless they take him off the market with an extension negotiation. .

4. Chris Martin (Last week: 5) – Martin and Michal Givens had a tough time last week, but Martin moved past Givens to 4th place in part due to his experience in the World Series and in part because the Power Rankings fan team stated that his FIP means he’s serving better this season. (Editor’s note: whatever it is.)

5. Michal Givens (Last Week: 4) – Givens was good enough in traffic throughout the season to look like a particularly strong player coming out last week, but this four-run, three-walk halves against the Padres not only crushed his season-long ERA, it also was his second inning with three walks in 11 days. Not what the sales team wants to see when buyer scouts start showing up around this time of year.

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