First of all, I'd like to say thank you to everyone on the blog for keeping the thread going, keeping it respectful, and, as always, adding to the articles with your individual knowledge of the game. And thanks to all for the kinds words for our efforts from those who read the blog and/or follow us on Twitter.
It was exciting for us to be a part of the rumor mill as it was happening. Because of that, I haven't been able to devote as much attention to the comment section and/or to your questions as I would have liked. Our goal was simple -- to provide you what we always strive to provide you with -- the best quality and most original information on the Cubs out there and, as much as possible, we made an effort in getting you that information in a timely fashion -- sometimes even before it hit the national media. We think we accomplished that. Thanks very much to Tom, Felzz, plus everyone who worked behind the scenes. I think we owe a lot of people a lot of drinks -- or perhaps a lot of dinners.
But enough about us, let's talk about the Cubs. The kudos is streaming in from the experts. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, NBC's Hardball Talk, and the NY Posts' Joel Sherman all declared the Cubs winners at this year's deadline. How did they accomplish that? First off, let's take inventory.
What they gave up:
- 3 months of Scott Feldman
- Steve Clevenger
- 2+ months of Matt Garza
- Alfonso Soriano
- Scott Hairston
- Carlos Marmol
What they got:
- RHP Jake Arrieta
- RHP Pedro Strop
- RHP Matt Guerrier
- RHP Ivan Pineyro
- RHP Corey Black
- RHP Justin Grimm
- RHP C.J. Edwards
- 3B Mike Olt
Why this deadline performance was a win....
- The Cubs jumped on the SP buyers market early. You can make an argument that the Cubs got more for both Garza and Feldman than any other team got for their SPs. The front office established early on what they were willing to accept in a trade with the Feldman deal and then wasted no time capitalizing on that and getting a good return for Garza before the market took a bit of a turn downward as we approached the deadline.
- The Cubs increased their inventory of power arms. Arrieta, Edwards, Black, and Strop can all throw mid 90s or better. That was an asset that was sorely lacking in the Cubs system. Arrieta and Edwards have the chance to be top 3 starters while Black and Strop could provide them with much needed late inning relief. At worst, they become part of the mix of the inventory of power arms already in the system and give the Cubs a larger pool of impact level talent to pool from.
- The Cubs picked up a potential starting 3B in Mike Olt who fits the profile of how they want to build going forward -- around defense, power, and quality ABs. He gives them both a short term and long term solution at a difficult to fill position. At worst, he's a stopgap and a flyer until the Cubs find out what they have in Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and other potential third baseman of the future.
- They picked up a couple of low cost, cost-controlled back end starters in Justin Grimm and Ivan Pineyro. Grimm may be MLB ready by next season and Pineyro increases their overall inventory of such pitchers in their system. It's an asset that can be underrated as even back end starters can be costly to obtain in the trade or free agent markets.
- None of the players traded figured to be a major factor next year. The Cubs had exhausted efforts to extend Garza. Feldman was going to move on to bigger and better things in terms of salary. Soriano was going to have his playing time gradually reduced over time. Marmol was a free agent they didn't plan to keep, and Scott Hairston was around for just one more year, but was ineffective as the short-side of a platoon and ultimately replaceable at low cost.
- The Cubs stuck to their guns. They didn't owe anybody any favors. Their only responsibility was to increase the number of long term assets in the system -- and if a team wasn't going to add to that inventory, then the Cubs just walked away. They listened on everyone, even core piece Jeff Samardzija, but at no time were they prepared to walk away with anything less than surplus value.
- In ridding themselves of Soriano and Marmol, the Cubs cleared the last symbolic remnants of an organization that was prone to reckless excess, short on cost analysis, and long on marketing marquee names for short term gain, many who became financial burdens by the end of their contract terms. Additionally, it clears the decks now for the Cubs to really start building the type of team they envision on the field. This is nothing against Soriano and Marmol, who played hard and had some productive seasons, but this is about restructuring a team to fit a philosophy that has proven successful, what we now refer to as the Cubs Way.
So thanks for your support of our efforts and, while it's too bad the non-waiver trade season ended with a whimper, we think the Cubs added some potential impact early and often.
And remember, for more of my thoughts, I’ll be on Chicagoland Radio tonight with Jason Thomas on a 24-hour radio show to raise money for the Jarrett Payton Foundation. Tune in at 12:20 if you are an insomniac like I am.
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