With the Cubs selling again this year, here's a look at last year's deadline (and waiver) deals and how they have turned out (so far).
July 31, 2010 - Cubs trade Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot to the Dodgers for Blake DeWitt, Brett Wallach and Kyle Smit
Both Lilly and Theriot were set to become free agents after the 2010 season, with Lilly projected to be a Type A free agent. Thus, the Cubs could have received a compensation pick for Lilly in this year's draft, if they had kept him an offered him arbitration. Of course, if Lilly accepted arbitration, the Cubs would have been stuck.
Blake DeWitt - DeWitt was labeled as the Cubs starting second baseman after the acquisition, but split time with Darwin Barney at the end of 2010 before Barney beat him out for the job this Spring. DeWitt has been an adequate bench player but becomes arbitration eligible after this season and is a potential non-tender candidate.
Brett Wallach - Wallach was thought to be the better of the two prospects the Cubs received in the trade. But, after posting a 5.76 ERA in 7 starts with Peoria down the stretch last year, Wallach did not appear in Baseball America's list of the Cubs Top 30 prospects this preseason. Wallach has continued to struggle with a 5.71 ERA at Daytona this year.
Kyle Smit - After being acquired by the Cubs, Smit pitched well as a reliever for Tennessee with a 1.96 ERA in 18.1 IP. He was ranked as the Cubs 20th best prospect by Baseball America. He has struggled this year with a 6.34 ERA thus far, but still remains on the prospect radar.
Overall not a great haul for a quality pitcher and a decent middle infielder. It would be nice to have Lilly on this year's team, with our rotation issues. However, this trade was mostly a salary dump and it did free up a spot for Barney, who is a Theriot-type of hitter at a fraction of the cost.
August 11, 2010 - Cubs trade Mike Fontenot to the Giants for Evan Crawford
A "Super Two" player, Fontenot would have been headed for his second year of arbitration this past offseason, if the Cubs had kept him (he ended up getting a $1.05 million contract from the Giants). With all their infield prospects and the acquisition of DeWitt, Fontenot was expendable and anything the Cubs got in return would be gravy.
Evan Crawford - although he doesn't appear on any prospect lists, Crawford has been a good get for the Cubs. He is currently hitting .333/.393/.436 for Daytona and has shown off his speed with 23 steals in 28 attempts. Primarily a center fielder, he can play all 3 outfield positions and could become a 4th or 5th outfielder for the Cubs.
Overall I would rate this as a win for the Cubs. They traded a redundant player for a decent prospect and saved some money in the process.
August 18, 2010 - Cubs trade Derrek Lee to Braves for Robinson Lopez, Ty'relle Harris and Jeffrey Lorick
This was the first of the Cubs two waiver deals. After turning down a potential trade to the Angels in July, Lee finally agreed to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Braves.
Robinson Lopez - Lopez was the top prospect in this deal and ranked 19th on Baseball America's list of Cubs top prospects. He too has struggled this year, with a 5.60 ERA at Peoria. However, he is only 20 years old and can hit 97 mph.
Ty'relle Harris - Another reliever, Harris posted a 5.40 ERA in 11.2 IP with Tennessee after the acquisition. He has fared even better this year, with a 2.10 ERA at Tennessee earning him a promotion to Iowa. He has struggled with command (28 walks in 37.1 IP this year), but could still be a useful part of the Cubs pen.
Jeffrey Lorick - Lorick has posted average numbers for Daytona this year (4.57 ERA and just 54 K's in 88.2 IP). He has been used primarily as a starter by the Cubs, but had better success out of the pen while in the Braves organization and that may be where his future lies.
Again, another salary dump for the Cubs who got a couple decent prospects in return. As they say, you can never have too much pitching.