Chicago Cubs: Best deadline trades during the Theo Epstein regime
Part of the rotation for the future of the infield
The Cubs had hoped to sign Jeff Samardzija to a long-term extension, but he laughed at the Cubs. He mocked the “wait till next year” approach. How’s that looking, Jeff? Once the Cubs realized that Billy Beane was willing to part with Addison Russell, they went for it. It took two-third of their rotation in Samardzija and Jason Hammel, but the deal was done.
For Starlin Castro, this signaled the end for him in Chicago–he just didn’t know it yet. With Russell making his way through–and eventually unseating Castro at short–time was ticking for Castro. In 2015, he played his final season with the Cubs before being traded to the Yankees. Ben Zobrist came over and that all but nailed the coffin shut on his time in Chicago. But Russell has had his issues–on the field and off–but is looking to be the clutch player they could count on last season.