Chicago Cubs: Best deadline trades during the Theo Epstein regime

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Who knew?

If there’s one thing that Epstein wasn’t afraid to do, it was trading the favorites. Ryan Dempster was nearing the end of his career but was still a formidable pitcher. He had a minuscule ERA (2.25), but the Cubs simply weren’t helping him any. Then, Epstein got on the phone and called the Rangers. It turned out to be a good move.

The Cubs got Kyle Hendricks and third baseman, Christian Villanueva. Villanueva was one that Cubs’ fans thought might be one of the next stars after a couple of good years in the minors. But he never panned out and is now in the San Diego Padres system.

But the unassuming kid in Hendricks turned out to be more than the Cubs could have imagined. After his first two seasons showed promise, Hendricks had a breakout year in 2016. His 2.13 ERA led the NL as he won ERA title, as well as finishing third in CY Young voting. After missing some time due to injury, Hendricks hopes to be part of a Cubs’ return to the World Series.