Chicago Cubs: Revisiting the infamous Josh Donaldson trade

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Jim Hendry – Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: The competitive window

A day before the trade materialized, the Milwaukee Brewers made a splash in acquiring CC Sabathia from the Cleveland Indians for a significant prospect package. Beane, who has always been savvy, saw this deal and wanted to create a similar swap.

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The Cubs were wanting to take advantage of their position at the time, adding an ace-like arm for the final postseason push. In their system sat a minor league catcher who had slashed .346/.470/.605 the year before and a valuable piece.

At times, Donaldson was considered as someone who was a big part of the club’s future. They had drafted him in the first round out of Auburn for that specific reason. It would never come to fruition. As part of the deal, it was Donaldson, along with an outfielder named Matt Murton and a pitcher, Sean Gallagher, heading to Oakland in exchange for starting pitcher Rich Harden and a reliever by the name of Chad Gaudin.

Hendry wanted to take advantage of the competitive window by making a splash. His division rival had bolstered their rotation the day before and, as any GM in that position, did not wish to play catch up. The Cubs, at the time, held a narrow 3.5 game lead in the division, and Hendry did what he could to take advantage of that window. It could be argued it was successful, but the fallout is what fans will always look back on as questionable.