Chicago Cubs News

Chicago Cubs: Looking back on some of Theo Epstein’s best trades

Jan 16, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein speaks as President Barack Obama listens at a ceremony honoring the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs in the East Room at the White House. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 16, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein speaks as President Barack Obama listens at a ceremony honoring the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs in the East Room at the White House. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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MLB: World Series-Chicago Cubs at Cleveland Indians
MLB: World Series-Chicago Cubs at Cleveland Indians /

Like it or not, former Chicago Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman is a huge reason why they were able to pull this off. And by this, I mean the World Series. Chapman has had some run-ins with the police away from the field, bringing some negative attention to his name.

As a result, Chapman served a suspension and came back stronger than ever in his first year as a New York Yankee. And then it was time for teams to make some moves in order to prepare for the postseason.

Do what you need to do

At first, the Cubs contacted the Kansas City Royals about Wade Davis. Once they found out that the asking price was Kyle Schwaber, both sides parted. This is where Chapman came into the picture.

Looking back at this trade, you can’t help but look at the two names that were sent to the Yankees in return. Two of Chicago’s top prospects, at the time, Gleyber Torres and Billy McKinney were on track to be big league stars.

Torres was once listed as Chicago’s No. 1 prospects while McKinney was near the top as well. Sending them off for what appeared to be a rental closer was a move that needed to be done. Here’s the truth, if the Cubs wanted to get to that next level, they needed Aroldis Chapman.

Admittedly, most fans did not approve of the trade considering Chapman’s history. Domestic violence is not okay but baseball is a business. This was a business decision in which the Cubs released a public statement to their fans afterward.

Throwing Heat

Either way, Chapman took the mound in a Cubs uniform and wowed fans by clocking in at over 100 miles per hour. Something they have never seen done other than Chapman visiting as a Red.

He recorded 16 regular season saves as a Cub and turned into a workhorse come October and November. In 13 appearances, Chapman picked up four saves in 15 2/3 innings of work but gave up the game-tying home run in Game 7.

We all heard about how he was crying in the locker room until Jason Heyward gathered his teammates for a meeting. A meeting that helped spark a rally.

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