The MLB trade deadline was once one of the most exciting weeks of the baseball season. Blockbuster trades and rumors would put fanbases across America into a full blown frenzy at the end of every July.
For the most part, the MLB deadline has become about as exciting as Golden Girls reruns your Grandma Shirley watches everyday. Booooooriiiiingggggg.
I will give the deadline some credit this season, who doesn’t love a buzzer beater? Zack Grienke getting traded to the Astros is a BIG time move. Verlander, Cole, and Grienke in October, no thank you. The Astros continue to get better and better and better, you have to tip your metaphoric cap to them.
**Insert Derek Jeter son tipping cap gif**
Now onto the team we all care about, the Chicago Cubs made some moves. There was no Aroldis Chapman, this move changes the season move, but there were moves that could push the Cubs over the top given a few other balls rolling their way. The Cubs filled the holes this team has, they added a RHP, LHP, top of the order/corner OF, and a bench bat. This front office did all they could with what they had without giving up top prospect from the tiny farm they own. For that I metaphorically tip my cap to you Theo.
**Insert Derek Jeter son tipping cap gif**
Nick Castellanos for prospects. YES, YES, YES! Theo went out and got a top of the order, consistent bat to replace Almora/Happ. This also provides ridiculous flexibility for Joe Maddon. His bench is now loaded with pinch hitters as well as a superb defensive replacement in Almora.
David Phelps, coming back from Tommy John is always scary. He is a veteran reliever, who could be decent. Who really knows at this point? Jesse Chavez came out of nowhere to be one of the most reliable arms in the bullpen last year. Adding Phelps’ veteran presence and providing rest to the reliable arms in the bullpen is more important than anything
Tony Kemp for Martin Maldonado. It was reported that Mike Montgomery was having issues in the clubhouse and they needed a veteran catcher with WIllson on the IL. Contreras is now back so there is no need to carry three catchers. Enter Tony Kemp. He was designated for assignment by the Astros and we can only hope he takes Daniel Descalso’s roster spot. He could provide rest for starters, saves the Cubs some money, and his nickname is “The Admiral” so we got that goin’ for us.
The Cubs traded away some cash for Derek Holland. Hopefully, this will finally be the lefty specialist Joe has been yearning for all year. His numbers against lefties are, as the young folk would say, stupid: .182/.276/.195, with a 75.9% groundball rate. Holland could play a HUGE role come the potential NLCS showdown versus the Dodgers.
Carl Edwards was shipped off to the San Diego Padres. Carl had nasty stuff when he was on but he also had the mental toughness of a 3 year old. It just wasn’t going to work out in Chicago, I truly wish him nothing but the best.
Lastly, we all know the Cubs added Craig Kimbrel. He has not been great so far, I am not going to harp on his numbers because I truly believe he will come into form. The Cubs signed him to be a lockdown closer for him come playoff time. He had 7 saves alone in the 2018 playoffs, I have zero concern about Kimbrel.
The NL Central has gotten very spicy, the big difference honestly could come from within for your Cubs.
Ben Zobrist is finally coming back. I cannot wait for him to get a standing ovation at the Confines but I am most excited to hear his walkup song. For the last few years, our ears have been polluted with Juliana Zobrist’s awful rendition of Benny and the Jets. If he was self aware, he would walk up to Fuck You by Ceelo Green or the 2004 classic Fuck It (I Don’t Want You Back) by Eamon. If he wants to stick to his Catholic roots, Raise You Up On Eagles Wings was always a personal favorite back in my private school days.
Brandon Morrow, anyone home? Oh, you are still just playing long toss. Please just come back. The Cubs could always use another reliable, shutdown, late inning arm. You can be that guy Brandon!
Cole Hamels is coming back from injury very, very soon. Cole will come back and bolster a rotation that is arguably the most reliable part of this team.
Ian Happ has returned to Wrigley Field after a long stint in the minor leagues. Honestly, I am not expecting a ton out of him but he can play a lot of positions and is a solid bat off the bench.
Most importantly, Addison Russell no longer clocks in at 1060 West Addison. I hope he never steps foot onto Wrigley Field again. Addison, I am rooting for you to become a better human being but please do it as far from Chicago as possible.
All that being said, do the Chicago Cubs have enough to win the World Series? That is the question that matters here. I am going to be optimistic and say yes. The bullpen has a ton of arms. Yu Darvish and the rotation will continue to put the Cubs in a position to win. The offense now has minimal holes. The bench is filled with players who can play multiple positions and can provide a big hit when needed. Anthony, Kris, Javy, Willy, and Kyle will continue to play baseball the way they know how. Heyward will continue his impressive 2019 season. Castellanos will provide much needed stability. This team can win the World Series. IT IS TIME BOYS!