Chicago Cubs: The five best Cubs trades since 1980
#4: The Ace and the Reliever
When Theo Epstein joined the Chicago Cubs, we knew that moves were going to be made. His history with the Boston Red Sox showed the propensity to build through draft and finding players at a great value.
No move shows the latter more than signing David Ortiz to a one-year, $1.25 million contract in 2003. I’d say that turned out well.
In terms of trades by Epstein and company in Chicago, few loom larger than what happened on July 2, 2013.
With Dale Sveum at the helm, the Cubs were going nowhere fast, making them trade-deadline sellers. They had a few assets to move, such as third catcher Steve Clevenger. But, the team needed pitching, and it would take a higher price. So, they packed Clevenger with Scott Feldman, the team’s second-best starter to that point.
The Baltimore Orioles were the perfect trade partner. Making a possible playoff push, the Orioles needed another starter. With Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop not performing up to standards, the Cubs took a chance. Pitching coach Chris Bosio enjoys projects, and both players were just that.
The Orioles missed the playoffs. Steve Clevenger had moments of excellence, but is no longer in the league. Feldman still plays, but has not enjoyed the success he saw in Chicago. But, Arrieta is a front-line starter, and Cy Young winner. And Strop is an anchor in the Cubs’ bullpen.