Chicago Cubs: Looking back at impact offseason trades

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February 25, 2015; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein during a spring training workout at Sloan Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs have seen some of their riskiest offseason trades pay off in big ways.

We’ve got three long months until we see some on-field baseball action. But this off-season promises to be one of the most exciting for the Cubs in quite some time.

They are expected to make plays for big money pitchers like David Price and Jordan Zimmermann, as well as being active in a number of trade talks involving their surplus of young position players.

Already, we’ve heard rumors of Starlin Castro being shipped to New York for the Yankees’ Brett Gardner as well as the Cubs sending a package including Javier Baez to the Braves for Julio Teheran or Shelby Miller.

Trades are exciting but risky–especially when they involve young prospects (like Baez). The Cubs will forever seem haunted by having traded away future Hall of Famer Lou Brock – even though that trade took place over 50 years ago.

We’ve seen other trades that found the Cubs on the losing side, like the Rafael Palmeiro deal.

The Cubs have made some amazingly good deals. Remember how they got Aramis Ramirez? Or the deal that netted them Jake Arrieta? Both those players came in midseason swaps… and the current Cubs regime of President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer have shown a knack for pulling off midseason deals.

But the Cubs have made some great off-season swaps, too. So let’s gird us for whatever the Cubs’ front office has in store for this off-season by revisiting the five best Cubs’ offseason trades of the recent past. (Sorry, we’re excluding anything outside the free agent period – it was just a different world back then.)

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