The Chicago Cubs have made their move. After starting the year 47-20, the Cubs (59-39) had hit a bit of a rough patch and, in the eyes of many, were no longer the favorites to reach the World Series.
Now they are once more.
The Cubs traded for flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman on Monday, sending 19-year-old shortstop Gleyber Torres, pitcher Adam Warren and minor league prospects Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford to New York.
The Cubs’ bullpen was its Achilles heel, relatively speaking. Well, that is no longer the case.
“They (gave) the Yankees, I think, a pretty good deal,” Chicago 670 The Score host David Schuster said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “He’s a rental player for now. He (likely) wasn’t going to resign with the Yankees at this juncture. So the Yankees asked for a couple of their top prospects, of which they got: two very young players who are promising – not right away of course, but a year or two or three down the road. They also got Adam Warren back, and they got another young prospect who actually is unheralded and he might turn out to be something. So in the long run, for a rental player, the Yankees might have made a pretty good deal. Here in Chicago, it could be the frosting on the cake. That remains to be seen. The Cubs lost a game to the White Sox (Monday), but they’re still the class, I think, of the National League, and ultimately if they (play in the) World Series and you have Chapman on the mound in the ninth inning of Game 7, I think you’re in pretty good shape.”
Chapman, who was suspended for the first 29 games of the season after violating MLB’s domestic-violence policy, is 3-0 with 20 saves, a 2.01 ERA, a 0.89 WHIP and has 44 strikeouts in 33 and 1/3 innings. He blew one save in 31 appearances for the Yankees.
Cubs fans, needless to say, are delirious.
“Oh, absolutely,” Schuster said. “Cubs fans have been dreaming now and having nightmares for 108 years. I think everybody takes a look at this as a positive obviously. There’s some controversy because of Chapman’s history and there will be some people who protest – and rightfully so – for their beliefs. But the Cubs said they did their due diligence on his domestic-violence history, that he’s repentant about it, that he put it in the past, that he’s been an angel ever since supposedly. That all remains to be seen how it pans out.”
In other Chicago news, Schuster addressed Chris Sale’s five-day suspension, which ends Wednesday. The White Sox ace, not wanting to wear a throwback jersey before his scheduled start Saturday, cut the jerseys so no one could wear them. The collared, V-neck jerseys, which debuted in 1976, could not be worn, so the White Sox wore their 1983 version instead.
Sale was scratched from his start.
“I’ve been doing this a long time, and this is one the strangest stories I’ve ever heard,” Schuster said. “When this happened the other night, we couldn’t believe it. (I read a story in which) Sale pretty much doubled down on everything he did the other night. (He was) only apologetic to his teammates for putting them in a bad position, but not really being apologetic for what he did and actually (took) some potshots against his manager, Robin Ventura. We haven’t had a chance to talk to him. He will pitch Thursday at Wrigley Field. That is going to be a zoo that night for sure. Again, he did not back down. He doubled down on everything he did the other night in basically saying, ‘Hey, I’m competitive, and I thought it was the right thing to do.’”