Chicago Cubs: 1984 – A retrospective of a classic year

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs: Whirlwind of transactions

The offseason began when the team shipped off a player-to-be-named and a 23-year-old minor league pitcher named Stan Kyles to the Oakland Athletics for a reliever by the name of Tim Stoddard. For the Cubs, Stoddard provided 92 innings, pitching to a 3.82 ERA. That year, he posted a career-high strikeout rate and a decreased HR/9. Stoddard also appeared in the second-most amount of games, behind only closer Lee Smith.

Green began wheeling and dealing guys left and right in an attempt to bring as much value to the club as possible. The number of transactions Green was making brings into thought the modern day GM, and most importantly Seattle Mariners GM Jerry DiPoto, who is infamous for continually making trades. It became a reality for the Cubs in a bid to contend.

Midway through the first part of the season, the Cubs made a  couple of season-defining trades. To bolster their starting rotation, they shipped off the infamous Bill Buckner to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Mike Brumley and Dennis Eckersley. The Cubs also sent Bill Campbell, Mike Diaz to the Philadelphia Phillies in a deal where they acquired Gary Matthews.

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Brumley never amounted to anything for the Cubs. However, Eckersley would help to anchor an uup-and-down starting rotation. That year for the Cubs, he started 24 games, finished 10-8 with a very respectable 3.03 ERA. He threw two complete games in that span, pitching to a 3.40 FIP and a 3.2 fWAR.

Throughout the season, the Cubs continued to wheel and deal. In a move that would have repercussions for a long time, they traded then 23-year-old rookie Joe Carter in a seven-player swap.

Among the return, Rick Sutcliffe became the most excellent piece of the bunch. Carter went on to win the American League MVP a couple of short years later. For Sutcliffe that year, he drove the rotation with his Cy Young-winning season, finishing 16-1 with a 2.69 ERA, and seven complete games.

Matthews, meanwhile, was a wrecking ball for the Cubs in 1984. He played in 147 games, slashing .291/.410/.428 with 14 HR and 82 RBI. The slugging outfielder produced a .381 wOBA, 135 wRC+, and a 2.8 fWAR. That year, he finished fifth in the National League MVP voting.

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