By: Will Farlow
The Chicago Cubs fans saw the Northsiders comfortably in first place a few months ago, but little did they know that could change the future in just a week. The Cubs GM Jed Hoyer was faced with many cornerstone players that helped the team win in 2016 in contract years. Hoyer did the unexpected trading nine Cubs key players , and beginning a new rebuild at the Friendly Confines. Cubs fans feel sadness and anger toward the fire sale of the the players that brought their favorite team a world series many years ago. However, this is not 2016 anymore its 2021, and sadly the business end of the game led to the Cubs fire sale. Here are my takes on the 2021 MLB Trade Deadline for the Cubs , and my grade on how well they began this new rebuild.
Trade #1: Chicago Cubs trade OF Joc Pederson to the Atlanta Braves for 1B Bryce Ball
I like this first trade in what would become the Cubs fire sale trade deadline , and in a way a prepared prospect grab. This trade allows the Cubs to get value for a one year outfielder in acquiring a power hitting first base prospect. I like how Bryce Ball now fits as a potential new first baseman of the future at this point for the Cubs. This is a good first move by GM Jed Hoyer.
Trade #2: Chicago Cubs trade LHP Andrew Chafin to the Oakland Athletics for 1B Greg Deichmann and RHP Daniel Palencia
Hoyer makes another good trade here as there are always contenders seeking a bullpen arm. Chafin played great in the Cubs bullpen , and should fit in well with the Athletics talented bullpen. The Cubs acquire two players with experience in the minors , and potential to help the Cubs as plugs in the roster early on in their rebuild. I see Deichmann being a stopgap at first, but I see Palencia needing more time to develop in the minor leagues.
Trade #3: Chicago Cubs trade 1B Anthony Rizzo and cash to the New York Yankees for CF Kevin Alcantara and RHP Alexander Vizcaino
GM Jed Hoyer shocks Cubs fans with this trade sending their team leader to the Bronx in New York. Rizzo was a key leader for the Cubs in many seasons , and heads to a Yankee lineup in need of a first base upgrade. The Yankees send over two top prospects that the Cubs develop in the beginning of their rebuild. The Cubs trade a player that as a free agent at the end of the year may resign in the offseason. Overall, I like this trade for the Cubs maximizing value remaining with Rizzo by sending him to New York.
Trade #4: Chicago Cubs trade RHP Ryan Tepera to the Chicago White Sox for LHP Bailey Horn
The Chicago Cubs continue their fire sale by making a simple pitching swap trade with their crosstown rivals the Chicago White Sox. The Cubs send a reliever that preformed well in his time on the Northside down south to 35th and Shields. The White Sox send the Cubs a talented former 2020 MLB Draft pick left handed pitcher that can be either in the rotation or bullpen. The Cubs make a smart swap with the continued need for bullpen arms , and secure a prospect for the future. This first crosstown trade since the 2017 Eloy, Cease for Quintana trade ends up working out here for both teams.
Trade #5: Chicago Cubs trade star RHP Craig Kimbrel to the Chicago White Sox for 2B Nick Madrigal and RHP Codi Heuer
The Chicago Cubs send a trade deadline day stunner by making a blockbuster trade sending their star closer to their rivals on the Southside. The Cubs in my opinion got the top value they hoped for a closer in Kimbrel that finished his Cubs tenure on a high note. The Cubs acquire from the White Sox two talented young players. Second baseman Nick Madrigal I like as a player, and I think Cubs fans will embrace him as one of their own for many years. Madrigal is joined by his fellow teammate Codi Heuer heading to the Friendly Confines. The Cubs can put Madrigal in a middle infield long term with one of their talented shortstops in the system. Codi fits the Cubs as a future setup man or closer making this trade my favorite for the Cubs in their fire sale.
Trade #6: Chicago Cubs trade SS Javier Baez, RHP Trevor Williams, and cash to the New York Mets for OF Pete Crow-Armstrong
The Northsiders make another trade involving players in contract years , and Jed Hoyer once again finds a good young prospect in return. Javier Baez takes his energy and home run hitting with Trevor Williams to Queens. The Cubs acquire a very young talent in Crow-Armstrong who I think has potential to be a talented outfielder when he reaches the major leagues. Cub fans will enjoy this young man in their future long term outfield catching line drives in the Wrigley Field ivy.
Trade #7: Chicago Cubs trade 3B Kris Bryant to the San Francisco Giants for LF Alexander Canario and RHP Caleb Kilian
Cub fans once again see a key contributor to their 2016 World Series title leave the Friendly Confines for the Golden Gate Bridge near San Francisco. Kris Bryant leaves in a deal that allows the Cubs to acquire good talent for a future Scott Boras free agent. The Giants send over two prospects to Chicago I believe fans will enjoy . The Giants feature many talented outfield prospects from their farm system which in my opinion makes Canario a good grab for Chicago in this trade. You can never have enough good developed pitching, and RHP Caleb Kilian gives the Cubs a chance to try to develop young controllable pitchers. The Cubs say a sad goodbye to the former World Series hero , and prepare for the future.
Trade #8: Chicago Cubs trade OF Jake Marisnick to the San Diego Padres for RHP Anderson Espinoza
The Chicago Cubs finish their trade deadline fire sale by trading a depth outfielder to San Diego. Anderson Espinoza coming to Chicago gives the Cubs another talented contract controllable pitcher. Espinoza had a bit of injury history with the Padres so it’s smart if the Cubs continue his development properly. The young right hander could become a future rotation piece behind Cubs ace Kyle Hendricks. I think this is a good final trade for Chicago as they begin their team rebuild.
Grade : A
I give a nice A grade to the eight trades made by GM Jed Hoyer as the Chicago Cubs close their contention window into a new rebuild beginning . Fans may miss their favorite Cubs , but the Friendly Confines within a few years can feature new fan favorites. Rebuilds are never easy for an MLB to execute properly, but the Cubs learned lessons in their last rebuild that if improved can be a better future for their organization.
Will Farlow. View all the blog posts from Will Farlow on this webpage.