Quick breakdown as I’ll have Carl go in depth later this afternoon.
Knee jerk reaction, the Cubs just took one of their biggest weaknesses and made it one of their biggest strengths. Obviously there is only so much impact a reliever that pitches 1 inning 3-4 times a week can have on a regular season, but this move was clearly made for October.
Hey Big Cat and Buster, Uhhhh Ya Think?!?!
As for what the Cubs are giving up, Gleyber Torres is going to be very good but the Cubs had nowhere to put him. Stocked with talent from the big league level on down. Where would Gleyber play in the next 5 years with Baez, Russell, and Bryant all locked in for the left side of the infield? Much like trading Vogelbach last week, there was just nowhere to put the guy so you might as well fill a hole you currently do have (the bullpen). McKinney was once a stud prospect but suffered an injury last year and has struggled a lot this year, my guess is the Cubs have downgraded him significantly from his projected big league impact. Warren means you basically gave away Starlin for free, which sucks, but again the Cubs have been built in such a way that you can trade position players and not suffer at the big league level. They’re keeping the core (Rizzo, Bryant, Schwarber, Russell, Baez) intact while trading away pieces to win the World Series now. This is a push all your chips in and go for it move. This is a move to beat Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, Belt, Crawford, and all the other lefties that will most likely come up against the Cubs in October. For that reason I love it. Not only do you get to finish games with Strop/Rondon/Chapman but you also let some of the other arms to fall into a more natural spot. Travis Wood for instance might get a chance to come in a game without 2 guys on every single time. The entire bullpen should work better.
Now for the elephant in the room. Aroldis Chapman is a bad person. He was accused of beating his girlfriend (something he denies) and firing a gun in the garage as a warning of some kind. I’ve seen a lot of people on twitter go back and forth so here are my quick thoughts even though they don’t really matter. Trading for Aroldis isn’t going to make me stop being a Cubs fan but not acknowledging this would be disingenuous and tone deaf. I think there’s a middle ground here where you can be excited for your team and the chances of winning a World Series while still slightly bummed that you’ll be doing it with a guy who is a scumbag. I’m not going to tell anyone else how to feel, I just know personally a small piece of the shine is taken off. What you hope is that the Cubs at least openly discuss it and acknowledge that they had an internal debate about this. It’s stupid to think any franchise is above hiring bad guys that are really good at their jobs. You just hope that they don’t put their head totally in the sand when the topic comes up. That’s sort of where I fall, I’m very excited for Aroldis Chapman the baseball player, less excited for Aroldis Chapman the person, and hopefully at least the discussion of this trade will help bring increased awareness to domestic violence against women.
At the end of the day I put my trust in Theo and Jed. Now let’s go win a World Series.