Chicago Cubs: Five trades that could have created a dynasty
Chicago Cubs: All smiles in Houston could have been all smiles in Chicago
Granted, there’s no guarantee that Verlander would have been the same guy with the Cubs that he became with the Astros, but imagine if the Cubs had gotten him for the 2017 playoffs and all of 2018 and he had turned back his clock in the same way. He certainly wouldn’t have looked so bad making his Cy Young speech this year.
While the Cubs had just given up Dylan Cease and Eloy Jimenez for Jose Quintana that season, they still had MLB newcomers and top prospects Ian Happ, Kyle Schwarber, Victor Caratini, Albert Almora and many of their current crop of talented prospects who were backlogged in the system a few more years.
Happ and Caratini as the basis for that deal probably gets things started in a big way, especially depending on the money the Tigers were willing to throw in at that point in time. Would the Cubs have missed those guys terribly the last two years?
This is also one of those hindsight deals that could have had ripples out across baseball rather than just specifically within the Cubs organization. If Verlander comes to the Cubs in 2017 and does what he did for Houston in Chicago, does Houston go to the World Series? Does Major League Baseball even have a huge scandal right now with the Astros? Funny how even imaginary Cub trade proposals might have saved baseball from this ugly scandal.