It’s that time of year. Where Chicago Cubs fans collectively hold their breath and see what Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have up their sleeves.
In each of the last two seasons, the Chicago Cubs wound up pulling the trigger on some huge deadline deals. Now, the end result of each campaign differed – but it showed a willingness on the front office’s part to do what needs to be done in order to capitalize on this window.
En route to a World Series championship in 2016, Theo Epstein acquired flame throwing closer Aroldis Chapman. While the merits of such a trade could be debated – the lefty’s impact on the pen cannot. Without him, Chicago doesn’t win a title. It’s that simple.
Last season, after the Brett Anderson experiment went off the rails, Chicago added Jose Quintana from the crosstown White Sox. The jury’s still out on what that will look like down the road given the steep price the Cubs paid in prospects.
That’s what each of the last two seasons had in common – a dramatic emptying of the farm system. In those two trades, the Cubs parted ways with Gleyber Torres, Dylan Cease, Billy McKinney and Eloy Jimenez.
But with the system lacking any real impact talent (a recent B/R breakdown ranked the Cubs’ prospect pool as the worst in baseball) – any deadline deals in 2018 will require packages even casual fans are sure to take notice of.