Over the years, the Chicago Cubs have had mixed results in their trade deadline deals. On one hand, the team pulled off some shrewd deals that lead to the 2016 World Series championship. Former ace and Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta and bullpen mainstay Pedro Strop were sneakily acquired from the Orioles and became league game-changing players. On the other hand, the Cubs' front office made a lot of deals that in hindsight were not wise. With the trade deadline right around the corner, let's look at some of the worst deadline deals the Cubs have made in the last 15 years and hope they can avoid making any huge mistakes this year.
1. The Josh Donaldson trade
It's easy to forget that third baseman Josh Donaldson was drafted by the Cubs way back in 2007. Donaldson came up as a catcher in college and in the Cubs' farm system and the team traded him to the Athletics as a throw in for starting pitcher Rich Harden. Although Harden dominated down the stretch in a career year, tossing 71 innings for the Cubs with a 2.15 ERA, his success was short-lived compared to Donaldson's.
After a couple of years with Oakland, Donaldson was converted to third base full time and he soon emerged as a defensive wizard at the hot corner and an offensive force at the plate. Over the next few seasons, Donaldson made three All-Star teams and won two-time silver slugger awards as well as the AL MVP in 2015. Unfortunately, the Cubs failed to foresee Donaldson becoming a cornerstone player and they paid the price in the long run.
At the time, the Harden deal was the right call though since the Cubs were all in on their 2008 team that won 97 games, and Harden provided the team a solid starter.