There’s no doubt this has been the Golden Era of Chicago Cubs baseball. It’s the greatest stretch of success fans have ever seen for this group, but if things don’t change the franchise is going to head in different direction fairly soon. It’s hindsight, but there were many chances for the front office and ownership to sustain a perennial contender, one of them being a trade for Mets ace Jacob deGrom.
You might recall when these rumors surfaced in 2018, a year the Cubs were coming off three-straight NLCS appearances and still atop the NL Central trying to fight off the Brewers who made some offseason additions (Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain) which took them to a new competitive level.
Jacob deGrom would have changed a lot of things for the Cubs in 2018.
That was a time the Cubs had one of MLB’s best offenses. They finished that season top 10 in the Majors for runs scored (761- ninth), batting average (.258 – fourth), on-base percentage (.333), and OPS (.744 – tenth). Hitting wasn’t a problem, it was pitching, and the Cubs needed another solid arm in their rotation.
They had plenty of assets to shake things up, but back then the Cubs had a ‘loyalty’ former general manager and current team president Jed Hoyer cited with the core group of players.
"“We’ve shown that we’re really loyal to this core group for a reason,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said before the 2018 All-Star break. “They’ve earned that loyalty over 3½ seasons. Our focus is on supplementing that group.”"
Talk about things that didn’t age well.
Regardless, that 2018 season the Cubs brought in Yu Darvish, who struggled before getting shut down due to injury. The team was arguably one dominant arm away from playing in the postseason and beyond. They did get Cole Hamels at the deadline who proved to be a great addition for the next one and a half seasons, but they left more on the table in terms of shaking up the roster for the future.
Enter Jacob deGrom.