Chicago Cubs set the tone for NL Central foes in the trade market

BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 16: Starting pitcher Jose Quintana
BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 16: Starting pitcher Jose Quintana /

The Chicago Cubs weren’t a sure thing as the trade deadline approached. Some felt the Cubs would be best to be sellers and look to next year. Theo Epstein & Co. proved to be smarter than most fans as if they knew this was coming.

Since Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer arrived in Chicago, the trade deadline for the Chicago Cubs has proven to be an “exciting” time. Now, it didn’t always feel that way. As we watched what few players were doing well get shipped out of Chicago for prospects? It didn’t seem exciting. It always felt as if the Cubs were “giving up” from year to year. That proved not to be the case as five years later the Cubs hoisted the Commissioner’s Trophy. The Cubs used to signal the beginning of the trade season as sellers. They still set the tone in 2017, at least for the NL Central, but once again as

Maybe you believed that the Cubs and White Sox would “never do business together.” Or maybe you didn’t think much of that at all. No matter how you looked at it, the trade to bring Jose Quintana to the Cubs was as unexpected as they come. While Epstein and Hoyer had as looking at Justin Verlander and Sonny Gray? Classic misdirection.

Didn’t see it coming

Most people–especially in the Chicago area–look to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman for their trade breaking news. Only this time, neither had any idea.

While these guys didn’t know, KatyPerrysBootyHole and wetbutt23 certainly did. These are words I never thought I’d use…ever. But moving on.

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The Cubs pulling the trigger on the first “blockbuster” of the season set the tone in the Central. First, it made the Cubs tremendously better this season and moving forward as Quintana is under team control for three more seasons. Secondly, it kept Quintana from making his way to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Cubs act, not react

It’s been apparent the Brewers have a potent offense and a capable pitching staff. But neither had excelled to this point. Now that the Cubs have Quintana? They’re firing on all cylinders. Could that have been the Brewers? Possibly. But I think most of us believed this was the Cubs division to win, and they may be staking that claim.

This has put the rest of the division in a “react” mode. The Cubs move was one that many didn’t see coming, and the rest might have been caught off-guard. The Brewers maintained a 5 1/2 game lead and felt confident. Now it’s down to a one game lead. And to make things more interesting, one of the “sellers” in the Pirates just swept the Brewers. This could lead to the Pirates pulling back players like Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole of the market. These were two players that seemed destined to be moved. But McCutchen is back, and the Pirates might not be ready to give up Cole.

Where do they go from here?

For the Brewers, they’ve lost out on Quintana. They were linked to David Phelps, but he was traded to the Seattle Mariners. Pat Neshek has been mentioned in connection with the Brewers, but the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees also sound like they’re in on him. And as far as Sonny Gray, there are a lot of talks, but nobody seems willing to give up what the A’s are asking for..yet. There’s still time.

Next: Cubs' pitching a key to streak

And then there’s the St. Louis Cardinals. It’s rare to see the Cards get involved in the trade market, and they’re shifting players within the organization over trying to acquire new ones. I feel as if the Cardinals are going to succeed or fail with what they have in their system. Making moves seems unlikely. They aren’t sellers; they aren’t buyers. They’re just there.

The best thing the Cubs did was make the first move. Instead of waiting to see what the competition was going to do, the Cubs’ front office made the opening play. And in turn have put a lot of pressure on the division, especially the Brewers. The second half of this season already looks more promising than the first. I can deal with that.