Cubs Trade Samardzija, Continue Neglecting the Present

The End of an Era
The End of an Era

As the smoke cleared from the night sky from thousands of fireworks shows across the United States, an unexpected show started on the North Side of Chicago. This firework display took shape in the form of a trade-deadline blockbuster about three weeks ahead of the actual deadline date of July 31st. Unlike the shows you may have watched this weekend, this one will be going on for perhaps a few more weeks.

Theo Epstein and company traded away Cubs’ ace Jeff Samardzija along with veteran starter Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics for prospects and a draft pick. One of these prospects just so happens to be shortstop Addison Russell, the top prospect in all of Oakland’s organization. Along with Russell comes a former Cy Young candidate turned reclamation project in Dan Straily and yet another outfielder named Billy McKinney.

Fans all over the Internet slew nothing  but positive reactions towards the Cubs’ front office and for the first time since the day he arrived in Chicago Theo Epstein is being made out to be a hero.

I am not one of those fans.

Organizational depth never hurts a team until it hurts the actual product on the field. It’s great to have a plethora of young talent to ship off for proven veterans once your young team plays like “buyers” before the July deadline. It’s all well and good until you start to challenge your future stars like Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo who just survived two years under a hostile manager threatening to demote said star players by adding a team’s top shortstop to chase your future with yet another meaningless fire.

To be fair, Epstein told reporters that he would have preferred to get back young pitching. Nonetheless, the Cubs could not refuse Addison Russell despite Starlin Castro’s all-star caliber rebound from two mediocre years under a fool of a manager.

I fear that Theo will see his bundle of young shortstops as replacements for Castro, using him as trade bait to land the pitching he sought after with Oakland. I am afraid that the Cubs are building a farm system with no real idea of building the Major League club.

Are my fears justified? Should I let the men upstairs continue this rebuild promising competition now and tomorrow?

Not that I have much of a choice on the matter, but I go into this summer wondering what indeed the Cubs will do next.

I did not expect a winning season from the Cubs this year, nor did I expect a year without 90+ losses. But in recent weeks when I saw this team start to play winning baseball, I had a glimmer of hope that maybe this season would be the stop-gap year right before the team becomes watchable again. But with this trade and the return that the Cubs got from this deal, I fear that we are simply repeating 2013. I’m frustrated, tired, and this team is wearing on my nerves.

Forgive me for the ranting nature of this piece. But after 106 years of poor management, I have no faith or trust left to give Theo and friends any benefit of the doubt.

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4 thoughts on “Cubs Trade Samardzija, Continue Neglecting the Present

  1. You are an idiot. Theo is building a team to win a World Series, and it’s not going to be this year. We are last in the division. Why would we keep pitchers that are going to walk within the next two years? Why not take the 3rd best prospect instead of having nothing? The reason why the Cardinals are so good is that they have such a great farm system, and that’s what Theo is trying to do. Yes, it’s hard to watch the Cubs right now but, it’ll be worth it for the kind of guys we have in our farm system.

    1. Until this season, Jeff Samardzija wanted to remain in Chicago. He had the potential to be the ace of our pitching staff for years to come yet suddenly he seemed determined to want to leave after putting up with Dale Sveum and the front office.

      Hammel was trade bait and I knew that the minute we signed him. But to trade him along with your ace for one top prospect at a position where you don’t need along with more of your prospects who are all concentrated in the middle infield plus another outfielder and a pitcher with bounce back potential to me seems pointless.

      Theo has proven we have the best farm system in baseball. So why do we need to log jam all of our positions instead of getting players that we absolutely need? And I mean players in the future that we’ll need like starters.

      It’s funny to hear you say we want to be like the Cardinals, but I can’t remember the last time the Cardinals had to lose 105 games in order to get to where they are.

      I understand that it’s great to have options and so much talent that we don’t know what to do with it. But until I see Kris Bryant or Arismendy Alcantara or Javier Baez or any of our wealth of prospects join the club and make this team bearable to watch again, all I hear are names and see no results.

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