As we rapidly approach mid-August, is it worth wondering whether or not the Chicago Cubs did enough at the trade deadline last month?
In each of the past two campaigns, the Chicago Cubs made major splashes with midseason acquisitions. This time around, Chicago completed three deals – most of which were ‘quieter’ than what we saw in both 2016 and 2017. All of the trades the Cubs made this year were for pitchers. With 10 regular starters for only 8 positions usually you would say the Cubs didn’t need to make a trade for a hitter. However, Kris Bryant is on the disabled list. He has been there for a long time. And Bryant is likely to stay on the disabled list for a while more.
But if you have 10 regular starters and one of them is injured that still eaves you with nine starters for eight positions. In turn, Ian Happ, Javier Baez, Tommy La Stella and David Bote have played some third base in Bryant’s absence. On all the other teams in major league baseball that would be more than anyone could hope for to fill the void left by a former National League MVP.
However, sometimes playoff teams overload their roster at the trade deadline. Sometimes another team’s closer gets traded to a playoff team where he is only a setup man. Or a starter on a losing team becomes a bench player for a wining team. However, unless a Hall of Fame third baseman is going to be traded to the Cubs for little to nothing I don’t see a pressing need for a hitter.
It isn’t like Bryant has been ruled out for the year. When he comes back, it will be as if the Cubs sudden traded for a big bat. And Adrian Beltre is currently hitting more like a player in the last days of his career rather than the Hall of Famer he will soon be.