Cubs: Jake Arrieta was the Cy Young winner few saw coming
Jake Arrieta was hardly a household name when he came to the Cubs in the deal that sent pitcher Scott Feldman and catcher Steve Clevenger to Baltimore. He was an up-and-down struggling righty who looked lost and inconsistent. We know what happened after that, and I remind my son the Orioles fan about it, too.
You go; we go. Dexter Fowler was one of those players who makes the chemistry of a team happen. While not the star, he is the guy who provides the spark, pulls the team together, and is reliable and consistent. After 2016, three years of leadoff man roulette followed, and eventually, even Theo Epstein admitted that letting Fowler walk was a mistake.
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Mike Montgomery wasn’t the rock of the rotation like Lester. He was a long reliever with an eye on a rotation spot who couldn’t quite put it all together. He wasn’t the lockdown closer, but on that one November night in 2016, he was all the closer the Cubs needed.
Starlin Castro made his Cubs debut at age 20 in 2010. We’ll remember Castro for ghosting this throw to Rizzo and his 2015 Game 3 game-tying home run off the Cardinals Michael Wacha, part of a postseason record six homer outbreak. Castro was traded after the 2015 season to the Yankees for right-hander Adam Warren.
Jorge Soler was another part of that six homer slug-a-thon in 2015, taking the first pitch from Adam Wainwright and depositing it into the bleachers. In the first three games of the 2015 NLDS Soler went 4-for-4, with five walks, a single and a double, and two homers, driving in four runs, all without making an out. However, the oft-injured Soler would go hitless in 41 plate appearances during the 2016 postseason and would be traded to the Royals for closer Wade Davis.