Chicago Cubs: Despite closer woes, team made the right call on Wade Davis
Right-hander Wade Davis succeeded Aroldis Chapman as Chicago Cubs closer in 2017, but after just one year, the team moved on from the veteran hurler.
Without the midseason acquisition of Aroldis Chapman in 2016, perhaps we’re still counting the years – and generations – since the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. The flame-throwing left-hander didn’t come without his share of controversy, but his impact on the club is incontrovertible.
Manager Joe Maddon squeezed every last drop out of Chapman’s left arm, especially in the postseason. But once the confetti had fallen and the parade concluded, his former club, the New York Yankees, swooped in with a massive five-year, $86 million deal to bring him back into the fold.
His departure left a hole at the back end of Chicago’s bullpen. Prior to Chapman, right-hander Hector Rondon filled the role admirably, but he never seemed to profile as the guy come the ninth inning, at least not to the Cubs brass.
So, knowing they had to find a solution if they had any hopes of repeating as World Series champions in 2017. The answer? A trade for former Kansas City Royals standout Wade Davis, who was entering his final year of team control.
Theo Epstein sent slugging outfielder Jorge Soler to the Royals in the deal, shoring up the ninth inning while pulling from a position of strength in the outfield.