Amidst recent trade speculations, fans need to remember who is truly in the driver’s seat with regards to trade demands.
October 14, 2003. Five outs away from a desperately coveted National League pennant. 1945 is the last time the Chicago Cubs have tasted a Fall Classic.
Not only do they have their most reliable pitcher on the mound, but they have a three-run cushion.
All of the work and uneasiness that came with squeaking back to relevancy comes down to this. Destiny appears to be in their favor as they look to get the opportunity to bring home a World Series title for the first time since 1908.
Fly ball down the left field line …
Oh, so close. Yet so far away.
Hasn’t that been the story of the Chicago Cubs franchise? Their history, their luck, their bad bounces, and their ultimate status as the ‘lovable losers’?
If you are loyal and hungry Cubs fan and you have the chance to turn all the pain into glory as soon as this year, do you make it happen? What kind of question is that.
They haven’t won in 108 years. I repeat, 108 years.
Their general manager, Theo Epstein, has already taken apart one curse. Back in 2004, he pieced together a Red Sox team that brought home their first title since Babe Ruth was inexplicably traded to the Yankees in 1918.
Now, he has constructed a young, powerful, contending Cubs team which shocked baseball with an NLCS appearance one year ago.
The man who is one broken curse away from being a shoo-in Hall of Fame general manager is a dominant relief pitcher and solid starter away from achieving it. Is he worried about 5-10 years down the road at this point? Absolutely not.
The ever-growing stress of bringing that desired title home to the fans who righteously deserve it will overtake any future plans.
This is where trade partners come in. This is where trade partners take advantage. This is where the New York Yankees take advantage.
Likely hours away from swinging a deal with Epstein, Brian Cashman needs to keep in mind who the boss is. He is the boss.
The 2003 pain and anguish still resides in Chicago, postseason baseball is inevitable, and a World Series victory is achievable.
Sure, the Cubs love themselves some Kyle Schwarber. A powerful bat with the utmost potential to be a superstar in this league. With that said, his torn ACL and LCL leave him out of action this year.
Would the organization dare to part with a future superstar for a 2016 World Series win? If the Yankees get out of the passenger’s seat, yes they would. They owe it to their fanbase too deeply. Would they dare to part with a questionable future superstar with already substantial knee problems? Even more likely.
You get the idea here. Gleyber Torres has tremendous upside and can possibly be flipped for a piece which fits the New York’s needs. However, Cashman needs to think further and take control of the situation; be the boss.
The Yankees have pieces the Cubs desire and the Cubs have pieces the Yankees desire. Without a hitch, this can turn into the blockbuster that it has the capability of being.
Any version of Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Pineda, or Ivan Nova will provide Chicago with the needed rotation depth. Any form of Aroldis Chapman or Andrew Miller will result in a leap to the helm of the National League.
The men residing in the Bronx are the ones who can pick and choose, not the men from the Windy City. Believe it or not, the team with 27 championships contains the finishing touches to a team with two (1907 & 1908).
So, when push comes to shove, it is the Cubs vowing for a championship. They are the franchise trying to spin the depths of defeat into long overdue glory. Given the position the Yankees are in, they are not.
Brian Cashman has a chance to turn a sizable into a masterpiece in his favor. While the Cubs hoist the pennant in 2016, the Yankees will be waiting to hoist theirs in 2017.