Nomar Garciaparra trade never lived up to the hype for the Cubs

Chicago Cubs vs Pittsburgh Pirates - April 15, 2005
Chicago Cubs vs Pittsburgh Pirates - April 15, 2005 / Sean Brady/GettyImages

Let's take a trip down memory lane to 2004 when Nomar Garciaparra was traded to the Cubs at the trade deadline. At the time, Theo Epstein was still the GM of the Boston Red Sox. The trade, which brought the former Rookie of the Year and five-time All-Star to Chicago, was a rarity in the sense it included four different teams - including Chicago, Boston, Montreal and Minnesota.

Fresh off the sting of the Bartman incident the prior fall, the Cubs front office were ready to go for it again in 2004 and with the team in a decent spot at the deadline at 56-48, Jim Hendry swung the deal for Garciaparra (and Matt Murton) - the team's lone deadline move, bolstering a lineup that already featured Sammy Sosa, Aramis Ramirez, Derrek Lee, Todd Walker and Moises Alou.

Nomar Garciaparra's time in a Cubs uniform disappointed

Garciaparra wound up slashing .297/.364/.455 for Chicago, and while the overall line was good, injuries early in the season likely limited his production. Garciaparra missed over two months earlier in the year due to an achilles injury and he lacked the power he'd shown in previous years, managing just four home runs and 20 RBI in 185 trips to the plate with the Cubs. The team sputtered late, losing six of its last eight games, narrowly missing the postseason at 89-73.

Major change came that offseason, with Sosa getting traded to the Baltimore Orioles. Garciaparra returned on a one-year, $8 million deal with a lack of interest out there for a long-term pact, but appeared in only 62 games that year after tearing his groin and missing three months early on. Again, when he was on the field, he was solid, batting .283/.320/.452, but he never found the form that made him a star in Boston during his Cubs run.

Next. 2005 marked the end of an era at the Friendly Confines. dark

2004 was a season full of high hopes - and disappointment. The next year, things only got worse, with Chicago finishing the year below .500 and in fourth in the NL Central. Garciaparra was supposed to be the missing piece of the puzzle. Instead, his arrival did little to boost the Cubs' hopes and was just the latest turn of events that left fans wondering what might have been had things gone differently.