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Cubs will be 'active' at deadline

7/29/2014

CHICAGO -- Saying he's "envious" of buyers in the trade market as the Thursday deadline approaches, Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer says he thinks his team will be active and believes the market will start to move Wednesday.

"Tomorrow is moving day," Hoyer said before Tuesday night's game against the Colorado Rockies. "Things will get a lot more serious as we move into tomorrow. People are somewhat reluctant on the last day. You get too close to the deadline you can cut short your medical process and things like that. I just feel like tomorrow is the day, as we get to tomorrow evening is when a lot of people hone in on the deals they want to make."

Hoyer likened it to finding a "dance partner" and says he believes the Cubs should find one before Thursday's non-waiver deadline.

"I expect to be active," Hoyer said. "We're having a lot of conversations."

Those conversations involve infielder/outfielder Emilio Bonifacio, among others, according to a source familiar with the Cubs' situation. Hoyer said there would undoubtedly be more urgency for the Cubs if they hadn't already traded pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel earlier this month. Now it's about maxing out on some smaller deals.

"Free-agent markets are pretty thin now and you can trade a guy under club control, and unless you have a prospect that can do that same job, all that means is you're right back on the market this winter trying to find the same skill set," Hoyer said. "We're certainly aware of that and the price of the guys that are under club control certainly reflects that."

In other words, players such as Chris Coghlan, Justin Ruggiano, Luis Valbuena, Travis Wood and Jake Arrieta aren't in a group that the Cubs benefit highly from moving. Nate Schierholtz, Bonifacio and pitcher Carlos Villanueva are scheduled to become free agents after this season, so moving them makes plenty of sense. Left-handed relievers are always wanted commodities near the trade deadline, so Wesley Wright and James Russell could actually bring the Cubs back some prospects.

"People try to find a dance partner on the 30th and 31st [of July]," Hoyer said.

The Cubs found their partner in Oakland when the Athletics traded prospect Addison Russell for Samardzija and Hammel earlier this month, but that doesn't mean the Cubs are done dancing. Hoyer wouldn't mind it being the last time they're sellers.

"[Cubs president Theo Epstein] and I spent all those years in Boston always trying to buy," Hoyer said of he and the Cubs' current team president. "Some years we were active and some years we weren't, but we were always in that deal flow on that other side. That's the side you want to be on."