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Cubs Trade Deadline: Ambiguous Asking Prices; What the Nelson Cruz Deal Means for the Market

The Cubs have not yet set a firm asking price for their available players, but the Nelson Cruz trade may provide some clarity for the market.
Chicago Cubs Jed Hoyer

Photo: Jon Durr/Getty Images

According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Chicago Cubs are not being clear with teams about what their asking price is for available players at the trade deadline.

The trade deadline is a week away, yet the market has been rather quiet outside of the Cubs sending Joc Pederson to Atlanta and Nelson Cruz going from Minnesota to Tampa Bay in exchange for two near-MLB-ready pitchers.

Buster Olney's report offered some insight as to why it's been an uneventful deadline so far on the North Side, as the Cubs have not given teams a clear idea on what they are expecting in return for players such as Kris Bryant, Craig Kimbrel, and possibly Anthony Rizzo, though Olney mentions the first baseman is a perfect fit for Boston.

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Whether the Cubs meant for things to unfold like this or not, the Nelson Cruz trade definitely helps the sellers' market. Cruz is on an expiring contract, so unless he signs an extension with the Rays, he is a two-month rental. The Rays gave the Twins their No. 10 and No. 17 prospects in return for the veteran slugger.

Considering Cruz is strictly a designated hitter, a versatile player like Kris Bryant should at least fetch a similar package, if not more. When it comes to Craig Kimbrel, who is the premier bullpen arm available, a potential return could consist of a top-ten prospect plus another piece in the 15-25 ranking range since the Cubs' closer has another possible year of control after 2021 (vesting/club option).

The trade deadline is only eight days away, so be sure to follow me (@JoeMarras) and Cubs On Tap on Twitter for updates and analysis regarding Cubs transactions.