Kyle Schwarber has been the center of many trade conversations among Rays fans for some time now, and rightfully so. That bat is something special. The fact that it’s in a funk right now, so it could be slightly discounted.
But would the Cubs be willing to sell low on him? Not likely. Like any team, they will value their players more than anyone else and require top dollar in trade, even for their surplus pieces.
And their team is already stacked. Some of the position players (Schwarber, Ben Zobrist, Javier Baez) are slumping, but they will break out at some point and start hitting better. And even after the loss of the best reliever in baseball — Aroldis Chapman — the Cubs bullpen is still well above average.
So what would they want in a trade? Starting pitchers. And the only one on the Rays roster that is proven to move the needle is Chris Archer.
The problem is, the Rays are in playoff contention right now. They aren’t going to make it very far without their ace. In a down year, this might be a longer conversation, but if there were ever a time when Archer is off limits, its right now.
But the phone call still has to be made. So how would that go?
Erik Neander, Rays GM: “Theo, it’s Erik. We want to win now. We want Schwarber.”
Theo Epstein, Cubs President of Baseball Operations: “Oh hey, Erik. We want to win now, too. We want Archer.”
Neander: “Sorry, Archer isn’t available.”
Epstein: “All right, thanks, bye!”
And that’s how trades (don’t) get made.