Some of you Chicago Cubs fans may remember 2016. Some important things happened that year as far as Cubs history goes. Yes, we exorcised a demon as Chicago dropped the ‘Lovable Losers’ moniker by finally winning it all. But something else happened that year that contributed mightily to our success. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer made a midseason blockbuster, acquiring Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman ahead of the trade deadline.
Chapman was in his last year of his contract before he became a free agent. Sound familiar?
Long story short, Chapman finished the year with Cubs, helped them win the World Series and then re-signed with the Yankees that very offseason – and he remains there to this day. In effect, the Cubs borrowed Chapman for the last part of their championship run before.
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Fast forward five years: the Cubs have a plethora of free agents-to-be, several of which are going to be very attractive to teams that have legitimate chance at reaching the playoffs. Names like Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Craig Kimbrel and Anthony Rizzo have been bandied about for weeks now. The likelihood that the Cubs will trade one or more of these players grows with each game we lose.
Better to get something for them now rather than lose them altogether with nothing to show for it is the thinking.
And yet, as we have seen with players like Chapman, just because they are traded, doesn’t mean they are irrevocably gone. The Cubs aren’t paupers. There will be plenty of cash available in the off season to sign some free agents. If we’re being honest, given the roster turnover, Hoyer will have no choice but to flex his financial muscle.
Chicago Cubs: Hope springs eternal that all is not lost
Undoubtedly, the Cubs will be looking to upgrade their staring rotation as that is an apparent need to anyone paying attention to the current team. But if these forthcoming trades go well enough, who knows, maybe the help we need will be found there. That would allow the Cubs to re-sign some free agents they traded.
Who’s to say if one or more of our lost gems might not find their way back into the fold? Only time will tell—it’s going to be an interesting few days, that’s for sure.