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Being Realistic About Cubs Trade Targets, the Best World Series Game, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News, Chicago Cubs Rumors

I’m on a seven-straight-day streak of doing a HARD workout, and I’m about to bump that to eight later this hour. I say that not to brag – it’s not really that impressive – but instead I say it for accountability purposes. Saying it out loud helps keep me motivated. So thanks.


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  • Given that Theo Epstein admitted the Cubs will “probably” have to trade from the big league roster if they want to add other big league roster pieces, it isn’t wild to look around the league at controllable starting pitchers who might be traded, and imagine possible deals. The Cubs have to fill two rotation spots, and are generally disinclined to spending big in free agency right now to do so. But which controllable starting pitchers are even going to be available in trade? Outside of the Rays, where there are always guys available, the recently-obvious names have been moved in the past calendar year already (Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Sonny Gray, to name three of the most prominent).
  • Phil Rogers endeavors to name five controllable starting pitchers the Cubs could target: Chris Archer, Michael Fulmer, Marcus Stroman, Aaron Nola and Sean Manaea. Archer is as plausible now as he’s ever been (which is to say, the Rays would trade him for a fortune, but his contract (and their competitiveness) is such that they really don’t have to), so I buy that one. Fulmer came up in rumors at the Trade Deadline, and it sounds like the Tigers really did consider offers for him. But as they rebuild, might they just hang on to a guy who is 24 and not arbitration-eligible until 2019? Ditto on all of that on the Phillies and Aaron Nola. They, especially, are set to turn the corner any year now, and I just can’t see them moving Nola. The Blue Jays could conceivably solicit offers for Stroman, but are they really going to do a two-plus-year rebuild (the length that would be about necessary to consider moving a guy like Stroman)? And then you have Manaea, which, yeah, the A’s are always willing to deal, but he’s not even arbitration eligible until 2019 as a Super Two.
  • That is all to say: those are very attractive trade targets from the Cubs’ perspective, but in terms of just how realistic it is that they are shopped, I don’t see it. Archer seems the most realistic out of those five, and you know how difficult it would be to put a deal together for him. And heck, if those other four were made available, remember: there are about 20 other teams that would be clawing for them, too.

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(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
  • The more I think about last night’s game, the more I have to admit: if you do not consider fandom or historical context, last night’s game was a more thrilling World Series game than Game Seven of the 2016 World Series. There was just so much implausibility and so many enormous swings. The only thing that gives me pause – again, *without considering the historical context or your own fandom* – is the fact that Game Seven last year was a decisive Game Seven, whereas last night’s was Game Five. That might be enough to keep things really close, but … well … that game last night was just so nuts.
  • As we watch an especially homer-happy World Series, and see pop flies and low liners leaving the park at a ridiculous rate, we are reminded: the balls are totally juiced. I’m not complaining about it, mind you, but it’s a reality we’re all better off acknowledging so that we can adjust our mindsets to the current “normal” offensive environment.
  • Or, as Justin Verlander put it rather bluntly:

  • Last night’s game was even more incredible than Game Two, and it was capped off with one of my favorite postseason moments in recent memory:

  • And if any of you want to get a jump on getting actual baseball gear, there’s a $25 off sale at Rawlings on $200 orders going through tomorrow (a new partner of ours – hooray, keep the lights on!). Use the code 25OFF at checkout.
  • One more sale to let you know about, since it’s a one-day-only and we love ours: the Echo Dot is $10 off at Amazon today only. (Then again, if I hear “Alexa, play Call Me Maybe” one more time as I’m coming down the stairs in the morning … )

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  • As for our sister site, well, the Bears did not win yesterday, in large part because they got screwed on a terrible replay decision as tight end Zach Miller made an incredible catch WHILE seriously injuring his leg:


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.