The Cubs part ways with Darvish
Earlier this week, the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres agreed on a deal that would send Cubs ace, Yu Darvish and backup catcher, Victor Caratini to San Diego. In return, the Chicago Cubs receive starting pitcher, Zach Davies and 5 minor league prospects from a deep Padres farm system.
While Cub fans are disappointed that they did not receive any top tier prospects from the Padres that could be ready to play as soon as next season, they did get some very young, talented players that should have an impact for the Cubs a few years down the road. If these prospects do not make it onto the field at Wrigley, at the very least, they will be valuable trade chips for the Cubs moving forward. The one major factor in this trade that really stings if you’re a Cubs fan is the fact that Darvish was finally over his mental issues and rounding back into Cy Young form. The Padres will enjoy some of the best years of Darvish’s career on the rubber.
While the Cubs did not anticipate a full on rebuild, it is certainly looking like that will be the case. After parting ways with Darvish via trade, they have let go of Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora Jr., Jon Lester, and even their TV announcer, Len Kasper, who left the Cubs broadcast booth to take on the White Sox radio job.
With the addition of Zach Davies to the rotation, it gives the Cubs what looks to be the softest throwing pitching staff in all of baseball. Time will tell how that plays out for them. In the meantime, there is only speculation. It does not look like the Cubs will be competing for a playoff spot let alone another World Series in the foreseeable future.
The Padres on the other hand have had a fantastic offseason. Right before trading for Darvish, they landed another ace from the Tampa Bay Rays Pitching staff. They traded for Blake Snell who was infamously taken out of game 7 of the 2020 World Series which subsequently led to the Dodgers scoring a few runs and winning the game. A decision that Rays Manager, Kevin Cash undoubtedly wishes he had back.
The Rays now hold two of the top hitters in the league with Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr., as well as two of the top pitchers in the big leagues with Darvish and Blake Snell. San Diego has placed themselves firmly in the World Series contention conversation with their offseason moves leading into the 2021 campaign.
Back to the Cubs. Team owner Tom Ricketts had emphasized to Cubs fans that a rebuild was out of the question. They wanted to run it back one more year with the core of players and pitchers they have on the roster and see if they can work some magic come October. That sentiment has quickly shifted as while ownership won’t admit it, the Chicago Cubs are on a one way track to becoming the ‘Loveable Losers’ once again.
While the North Siders will look a bit different come the first pitch of 2021, they have begun the tumultuous rebuild process. While it will not be an easy road back to relevancy, it was necessary. The way this roster was constructed when they won the World Series in 2016, hopes of a Dynasty were on the horizon. After an underwhelming 4 years since, it was time for some major changes. After Theo Epstein left the organization and Jed Hoyer has taken over full control, this marks his first major move. A move that will be a tough pill to swallow for Cubs fans, but one that has clear intentions behind it.
The Chicago Cubs have the most loyal fans in all of sports, that loyalty will surely be put to the test for the next 3–5 years, possibly longer.