When teams have a coveted player that is in the last year of their contract, they are often caught between a rock and a hard place when deciding to extend their players contract or allow him to become a free agent. The Toronto Blue Jays find themselves in this situation with V. Wells.
Toronto most certainly is trying to stay competitive in the fierce AL East, but like most clubs, have a finite budget and many holes to fill.
Can the Cubs help ease Toronto's angst over what to do with Wells, by compensating them with enough talent to fill their other deficiencies?
For a summary of Toronto's situation please access the link, Http://torontosun.com/Sports/Baseball
You'll see that Toronto needs 2 starters, yeah what a news flash, who doesn't. A catcher and second baseman and/or shortstop. With signing Frank Thomas, they may not have enough payroll room to fill the rest of the holes and still resign Wells to an extension?
A player of Wells stature, will never be available under better circumstances for the team that can offer the right deal.
The Cubs have a golden opportunity to not only acquire a young, five tool outfielder, but free up payroll to be the major player in acquiring the best starters available to fill out their rotation.
The Cubs could trade Barrett, Marshall, and Pie. Toronto gets a quality offensive catcher, an inexpensive left handed starter and a prospect to play CF. The salaries of Barrett and Wells, will be close to a wash and the need for the Cubs to commit $12 to $15 million dollars for a power hitting center fielder, will now become available to acquire another ace to go along with Zambrano.
Of course the Cubs would need to resign Wells to an extension immediately, but it wouldn't be a hit to this years payroll. The Cubs could then stockpile the rotation, their number one need by the way, allowing them after the 2007 season, to assess who best fits in the 2008 rotation.
The Cubs will have no trouble during next year's off season, unloading whatever starter doesn't fit into their future plans. Allowing the Cubs to recoup the payroll flexibility needed, when Wells new contract kicks in.