With all the talk of the Cubs becoming sellers and trying to dump their bad contracts on some poor, unsuspecting GM. One player who seems to be under the radar, but probably makes the most sense to trade is catcher Geovany Soto.
Soto had a bounce back year last year, after a sub-par 2009 season. But, so far this year, he's hitting only .215/.308/.372 and has not been able to really get going.
Why then should the Cubs trade him now, with he's hitting poorly and his value is low?
Because the demand for a quality catcher could be high this July. San Francisco has lost their ROY catcher Buster Posey for the rest of the season. As a result, they have been scrambling to find a replacement, even going so far as to sign Cubs' castoff Max Ramirez. Thus, they appear to be desperate.
Also, Ken Rosenthal indicated in a May 9 article that the Red Sox are targeting outside options at catcher. Rosenthal also stated that the market for catchers is pretty thin, which should boost Soto's value.
Another factor is that Soto is already in his arbitration years. The Cubs signed him to a $3 million contract for 2011 to avoid arbitration and that salary is likely to increase over the next two years. If the Cubs don't see him as their long-term solution at catcher, its best to cut him loose now before he gets even more expensive.
Finally, the Cubs have some depth at catcher. Currently, Welington Castillo (.319/.374/.605) and Steve Clevenger (.333/.384/.545) are hitting well in the minors (Castillo at Iowa and Clevenger between Iowa and Tennessee). Either one should be a good replacement for Soto (not to mention overpriced backup Koyie Hill).
So, the time appears to be ripe for the Cubs to dump their resident pothead, er I mean catcher. Let's just hope that Jim Hendry can take advantage of the situation and get something good in return.