Chicago Cubs News

Cubs: 3 players the team could have traded for Jacob deGrom in 2018

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

At the time of these rumors (mid-July 2018), the Cubs were sitting in first place and looking to continue their competitive run. Meanwhile, the Mets were dead last in the NL East and starting a retool, and their biggest asset was starter Jacob deGrom.

DeGrom posted another All-Star season, and would eventually go on to win the NL CY Young with a 1.70 ERA, 0.912 WHIP, and 11.2 K/9. If his numbers alone didn’t speak to his value, his team-friendly contract drove his stock through the roof. The right-hander had a $7.4 million salary in 2018 and deGrom was arbitration eligible for the next two seasons.

On July 19, 2018, ESPN’s Jesse Rogers was one of many who reported the Cubs-Mets rumors involving deGrom. Rogers discussed with executives and scouts around the majors what it would take to make a trade happen.

The Cubs dropped the ball by not trading these three players for Jacob deGrom

Many of the personnel believed a trio of Addison Russell, Ian Happ, and Mike Montgomery would be the ideal package for New York. Throw in whatever top prospects were still around at that time and that’s a done deal.

"“Two of those three could start to get it done,” one National League scout said."

I guess maybe you can understand the Cubs’ hesitation given their offensive success up to that point, but if this is all accurate as many sites reported at the time, they dropped the ball big time. We know how much the Ricketts family doesn’t like paying players prematurely, so maybe deGrom’s looming payday (five years, $137.5 million) was part of the decision to pass on the move.

Whatever the reasons were, this was just another example of the imperfect decisions the Cubs have made to sustain a dynasty. They’ve failed at making these kind of moves, while teams like the Dodgers have thrived and remain committed to winning no matter the costs.

What’s more frustrating about all of this, if true, is how each of these players involved in the rumor have produced since 2018. Two of the three are no longer with the Cubs, and the one who still is has struggled mightily this season.