Cubs are ready to start selling

Every GM is going to be spending time on the phone with Theo Epstein this summer. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

The worst possible place to be for a general manager right now is in win-loss purgatory. The Philadelphia Phillies are stuck there at the moment, not really having done anything to make anyone believe they are serious contenders -- they’ve got the fifth-worst run differential in MLB -- but they’re just 1 1/2 games behind the Washington Nationals for second place, so they can’t yet commit to selling.

But the Chicago Cubs have no such quandary. This is a rebuilding year, as the front office understood long before the first pitch was thrown in 2013, and with just 41 days remaining before the July 31 trade deadline, rival evaluators say the Cubs are open for business -- and they have a veritable buffet of talent to offer for contenders.