It has been almost a year since the Chicago Cubs made a massive trade with the New York Yankees. A deal that later resulted in 108-years of misery coming to an end.
The former Cincinnati Red spent most of his career striking out Chicago Cubs. This time, he was wearing their uniform, clocking in at over 100 miles per hour and chewing through innings during the postseason.
Once the season came to an end, and the celebrations eased, Aroldis Chapman returned to the New York Yankees. A predictable outcome.
When news broke of the trade, fans were on the fence. Mainly because of Chapman and his domestic violence history but also the package that landed him on the North Side.
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Now, in 2016, a deal involving two of Chicago’s top prospects stole the show. Names such as Gleyber Torres and Billy McKinney highlighted the deal. A specific detail that somewhat irritated me but there isn’t much I could do.
Anything Could Happen
He later moved back to his primary position and is now one of the biggest stars in the league. Fast forward to today, and here you have a couple of new faces. Utility man Ian Happ put on a power display during Cactus League play and hammered two homers in 21 major league at-bats.
While Happ slashed his way with six hits, third baseman Jeimer Candelario couldn’t do much at the plate. Granted, his stats are better than his brief 2016 stint with the club, raising his average to .125 for his young career.
When comparing the two, it’s obvious that Candelario is the odd-man out. I mean, there is no way he’s surpassing Kris Bryant, forcing him out of the equation. Although Ben Zobrist and Javier Baez are still valuable members of this team, Happ seems to be a perfect fit.
Having him all over the lineup allows Joe Maddon to experiment with some changes all while keeping a powerful bat in the order. But his performance thus far may have him as a top priority for any club looking to sell.
And what will the Cubs be looking for? You guessed it, pitchers. From the bullpen to starting rotation, Chicago is likely to land themselves another hurler before or on the non-waiver trade deadline in July.
Either way, Theo Epstein and his front-office will be receiving calls within the next few months. You should definitely expect the Arizona Diamondbacks to be one of those clubs considering their outfield issue.
With Happ making outfield appearances, he could be what lands Zack Greinke in Chicago for the next four plus years. Also, bringing in Greinke allows the Cubs to move on from Jake Arrieta and Scott Boras.
Both parties may end up looking for more than what Greinke agreed on when he signed with the Diamondbacks. So, maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all.