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As the Trading Deadline Approaches...

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jul 20, 2005 3:40PM

Baseball's non-waiver trading deadline is less than two weeks away, and teams are starting to make some moves to either bolster their rosters for a playoff run or shipping out expensive and/or expiring contracts.

Will we see much action in Chicago as July 31 approaches? We saw a number of big moves in recent years, but Chicagoist isn't sure that trend will continue this year. The Sox seem to have a pretty well rounded team that's established a special chemistry one would have to think twice about disturbing. The Cubs are in a position where they're not sure whether they're "buyers" or "sellers." They looked to be slipping from contention a couple weeks ago and there were talks of moving some guys in return for prospects. But a recent hot streak has the Cubs sitting just 4 games out of the NL Wild Card race.

2005_07_sports_gerut.jpgThe Cubs made one move this week, sending Jason Debois to Cleveland for Jody Gerut. Commenting about the trade, the Lombard-native said, "I grew up a White Sox fan but I'm going to have to get over that."

Chicagoist isn't quite sure what to make of this trade. The teams swapped two outfielders, one that put up decent numbers before an injury for one that put up decent numbers in the minors. Both seem best suited as forth outfielders at this point. Cubs GM Jim Hendry liked that Gerut bats lefty and Clevelend thinks that Dubois might offer more help in the short term than the recoving Garut. Regardless, this isn't a major trade that give any sort of indication which way the Cubs will go. They may decide to hold off as long as possible and see where they stand closer to the deadline.

The Sox have yet to make any moves despite the numerous rumors that have surfaced. With some questioning the stability of Jose Contreras and Orlando Hernandez, there has been much talk of picking up another starting pitcher. Last week, talks revolved around Jason Schmidt from the Giants. This week, A.J. Burnett has been the name mentioned as a possible addition although rumors also have him going to Baltimore.

While many had assumed that the rotation was the place to upgrade, Dustin Hermanson's recent back spasms bring up questions about adding a closer. The Phillies are supposedly shopping Billy Wagner -- is he the answer?

Others feel that Joe Crede is the weak link in the lineup because he seems incapable of hitting over .250. Chicagoist doesn't agree, however. He's got pretty good power and he's one of the best defensive third basemen in the league. He's saved more runs in the field than he's cost the team with his low average. And the psychological effect of having a good defense behind them is one of the keys to a successful pitching staff.

So what moves to the Cubs and Sox make? Are they set or do they need to upgrade? Are the Cubs buyers or sellers?