What happened to the single trade deadline spicing things up in July this year? So far the month has been more boring than a Kris Bryant trip to St. Louis.
At least we at Cubs Extra put our thumb-twiddling time to good use waiting for the final-week flurry to start by coming up with a few trades we’d like to see before Wednesday’s deadline. Somebody make these happen:
Rays-Pirates: Forget the time-share proposal that would have the Rays split time between their current home in St. Petersburg and Montreal.
Just have them swap stadiums with the Pirates, whose greedy, gouging owners don’t deserve one of the best baseball stadiums and sports-fan bases in America while they stick industry-wide profits in their pockets with one hand and show an empty palm with the other – continuing to preach a small-market lie to the fans.
Trade Felipe Vazquez with four years of control left and a talented core in place? Enjoy the catwalks at the Trop, Buccos.
Cubs-Dodgers: Dodgers minority owner Billie Jean King for Cubs minority owner Betsy DeVos, two teacher-approved handguns and a public-school bathroom with a gender assignment to be named later. Tennis anyone?
Reds-Mets: The Mets take Yasiel Puig, the slugger Pedro Strop aptly described as “stupid as f---,” out of the NL Central. In return? How about Mets pitcher Jason “I’ll knock you the f--- out, bro” Vargas to the Reds? Call it dumb for dumber.
Mets-Brewers: The Mets sound determined to trade high-velocity starter Noah Syndergaard. So let’s make it happen for Brewers relief ace Josh Hader, the former All-Star who got famous in the viral sense last year when racist and homophobic tweets from his past were discovered.
Not only have the Cubs fared better against Syndergaard than Hader, making him a more desirable division opponent for the Cubs, but who doesn’t like an old-fashioned cracker-for-cheese deal?
Cubs-Yankees: Anything the Yankees want for DJ LeMahieu. Imagine if the Cubs could ever develop or acquire a guy like that: hits to all fields, Gold Glove infielder, gets on base a ton, doesn’t strike out a lot – and have you seen the numbers with men in scoring position?
Give them Addison Russell, Adbert Alzolay, Nico Hoerner’s first born, the American League half of the centerfield scoreboard and Try Not to Suck shirts for the whole Steinbrenner family.
No, seriously. We’re not kidding. There’s no punch line. Did we mention the men in scoring position? The batting title? The Gold Gloves?
DID YOU KNOW
- Since the start of 2015, the Brewers draw an average of 20 percent more fans when they play the Cubs at Miller Park (37,926) than when they play anybody else at home (31,594). Yeah, you knew that.
- When Ian Happ rejoined the Cubs in Milwaukee Friday, his OPS in 257 career big-league games (.801) was higher than Javy Baez’s career OPS (.797). No, you didn’t know that one.
THAT’S WHAT HE SAID
“In the past I don’t think we’ve really even looked at losses that way, only because [there weren’t as many]. Now it’s like, yeah, let’s marinate in these losses a little more and be pissed off about it. …” – Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant on taking losses, especially on the road, harder this year.
“I don’t have any solid answers. To be so polar, it’s really strange.” – Cubs manager Joe Maddon on the extremes between the club’s 36-18 home record (second in NL) and 19-30 road record (second-worst in NL).
“You tell me.” – Cubs pitcher Tyler Chatwood after a four-inning start Wednesday, following a 26-day stretch in which he pitched two innings total, on his role going forward.
6.5 – Games the Cardinals made up in the standings to take a one-game lead over the Cubs in the NL Central since the teams last met June 9. The home team has swept each of three series they’ve played this season as the Cubs travel to St. Louis to open their fourth on Tuesday.
11 – Number of the Cubs’ 30 road losses decided by one run, five of them on walk-offs.
.553 – Cubs centerfielder Albert Almora’s OPS since the frightening foul ball that hit a toddler in the unprotected seats in Houston May 29 (.233 on-base percentage, .320 slugging). He was hitting .264 with a league-average .754 OPS until the emotionally jarring event.