Oakland Athletics’ Top Four Trade Destinations For Scott Kazmir

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Jun 17, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago Cubs designated hitter

Kyle Schwarber

(12) hits an RBI single in the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs

Why the Cubs?

The Cubs are one of the more high-profile teams that are going for it all. By calling up Addison Russell and Kris Bryant, and acquiring Jon Lester, Jason Hammel, Miguel Montero, and Dexter Fowler over the offseason, the Cubs have sent a signal that they are competitors in the NL Central.

Lester, Hammel, and Jake Arrieta are a formidable top three in a rotation. Kyle Hendricks has struggled at times this year, but he is also showing signs of coming around to the impressive form he displayed in 2014.

That leaves the revolving door that has been the Cubs’ fifth rotation spot this year. This role was entrusted to Travis Wood at the beginning of the year. However, after posting a 5.59 ERA through seven starts, the Cubs quickly moved him to the bullpen.

Tsuyoshi Wada was called up to fill the gap. He has not done badly, but he is currently battling an injury to his throwing shoulder. On June 28th, he was placed on the 15-Day Disabled List, and it is not clear if the Cubs have set a timetable for his return.

Donn Roach started in Wada’s stead in St. Louis on June 27th, and gave up eight hits and four runs in 3.1 innings. Although he has done well at Triple-A Iowa this season, the Cardinals exposed some of his weaknesses at the Major League level. The Cubs desperately want to replace him quickly.

What do the A’s get in return?

The Cubs are not likely to deal away any of the talent that is already in the big leagues. Their middle infield-heavy farm system may suggest that Starlin Castro is on the table, especially since Addison Russell can easily fill in that position, but Castro is a more expensive version of Marcus Semien. He is unlikely the kind of piece that the A’s are looking for.

Kyle Schwarber is a behemoth at the plate, which could make the Cubs reluctant to deal him. The Cubs are already loaded at the catcher position, though. Miguel Montero is signed until 2018, and David Ross was brought in to be Lester’s personal catcher. The Cubs are so loaded at catcher, that they already dealt Welington Castillo to the Seattle Mariners back in May.

The A’s are probably not seeking an everyday catcher since they already have Stephen Vogt and Josh Phegley behind the plate for the foreseeable future. But Schwarber did play left field for Indiana in college. If the A’s pursue Schwarber, they would likely look to use him as a power bat in the outfield.

Next: The Toronto Blue Jays