Chicago Cubs Rumors: No, we don’t need Braun or Trout
The Chicago Cubs success early in 2016 already has some talking about who they may try to add prior to the trade deadline. Two of the more popular names floating around are Ryan Braun and Mike Trout, and I’m here to tell you no on both–but for different reasons on each.
The Chicago Cubs seem to be on the lips of everybody who follows the game of baseball. Mostly for the exceptional play they have provided in the first 35 games of this season. They’re 27-8, and that ranks them up there with some of the best starts in history. But their run differential is what is astounding. +110. The Red Sox are second with +58. And not that it’s a big deal, but the Cubs run differential of 110 is more runs than the Atlanta Braves have scored (107).
Even Cubs Nation, as united as we are at times, can be split in a hundred different ways as well.
So with the hot start, the rumors have begun to circulate about who the Cubs might go after in July. With Kyle Schwarber out for the season and Jorge Soler struggling at the plate, the first place people look is to the outfield. There have indeed been more than just these two, but for different reasons they are the worst two for the Cubs.
In years past if I were to hear the Cubs were looking to trade for two former MVP winners I would be ecstatic. But not this year, not for these two. Both are indeed amazing players who are having solid 2016 seasons thus far, but neither is what this Cubs team needs.
Starting with Ryan Braun, I’ll go ahead and get it out there–I don’t trust him. He failed a test, then he fought it and was cleared, then he failed again. Do I believe he’s clean now? No. No, I don’t. And I don’t care how well his season has started (.367/.434/.586, 7 Hr, 27 RBI), and these numbers are for a team that isn’t very good.
Prior to the Theo Epstein/Jed Hoyer regime, the Cubs were willing to go out and get guys who posted good numbers but didn’t necessarily have the best track record. Milton Bradley, of course, comes to mind. And make no mistake, every team has these signings that can backfire. But since Theo & Co. arrived, they’ve built this team of character and trust. Players–like John Lackey–that some questioned were vouched for by former teammates like Jon Lester. Yes, he’s a fiery guy. But never suspended for PEDs. Didn’t fire a gun or have a domestic violence issue.
For the hate that I see many Cubs fans still give Sammy Sosa–although many believe the relationship can be “fixed”–some of these people are the same ones that want to see Braun come to Chicago. You chase one away from Chicago just to invite another in? There’s no sense in any of that. Braun is “tainted goods”, and while my opinion doesn’t count for anything, he should never again be trusted, especially with the amount of money he’s still owed (signed through 2020, 5 years/$105 million).
In the case of Mike Trout, I love this guy. How he plays the game, his attitude–and of course his numbers (.306/.397/.552, 8 HR, 25 RBI)–I’d love to see him as a Cub. And while this team seems headed to the possibility of a World Series run? I’m not willing to sell the farm to get there. Because the “farm” is what has helped get us here. The rumor is Trout for five of the Cubs top prospects. I don’t care which five, you can’t make that argument to me that it’s worth it. This is not a “now or never” team. It was built that way in the Tribune Co. days, but not under the Ricketts family.
Sustained success has been a point of emphasis for this team’s ownership. They’ve flipped assets over the past few seasons for prospects, and now they have a team with few weaknesses at the big league level and a farm system with talent top to bottom. And a winning team won’t be able to replenish through the draft like they were able to in the beginning of “the plan”. Again, I like Trout–but I can’t see the Cubs essentially giving up all they’ve done over the past five years for one player, even Trout.
More cubs: Why the Cubs are better in 2016
As a fan, how you look at the Cubs will affect how you see these rumors worth. I’m 37 years old. I’ve seen a little good and a lot more bad. Tomorrow is never promised, but I’d love to see the Cubs have extended success over just a season or two. Of course, I want to see them win, but I don’t want to see that followed by a Marlins style firesale afterward.
Now, people like my father who will turn 80 this year and have endured way more than me as a fan? They’re ready now. Whatever and whoever it takes to make the Cubs a World Series Champion again. Even Cubs Nation, as united as we are at times, can be split in a hundred different ways as well.