10 biggest trades of the 2010s

Chicago’s sports teams swung some of the decade’s biggest deals. Here’s a list of the top 10.

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Anthony Rizzo and Jake Arrieta celebrate after winning a playoff game in 2015.

Anthony Rizzo and Jake Arrieta celebrate after winning a playoff game in 2015.

Gene J. Puskar/AP

(Note: As part of a series reviewing the last decade in Chicago sports, here are the top 10 trades made by local teams over the last 10 years.)

Cubs acquire Rizzo

Jan. 6, 2012: The Cubs acquired Anthony Rizzo and Zach Cates from the Padres for Andrew Cashner and minor-leaguer Kyung-Min Na.

Verdict: Rizzo became the mortar that kept the Cubs together, especially during their World Series win in 2016. Since the trade, the three-time All-Star has become the heart and soul of the Cubs and also a fan favorite for his work on and off the field.

Cubs acquire Arrieta

July 2, 2013: The Cubs acquired Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop from the Orioles for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger.

Verdict: Arrieta became a staple in the Cubs’ rotation, winning the Cy Young award in 2015. He then went on to help the Cubs end a 108-year title drought. Meanwhile, Strop was a nice addition to the bullpen, though he’s struggled as of late.

D-Rose era ends with trade to Knicks

June 22, 2016: The Bulls traded Derrick Rose, Justin Holiday and a 2017 second-round pick to the Knicks for Jose Calderon, Jerian Grant and Robin Lopez.

Verdict: After becoming the youngest player to win the league’s MVP award, Rose underwent three knee surgeries and he hasn’t been the same since. The Bulls trading the former Simeon star stung, especially for Rose who cried upon hearing the news. It was the end of an era, and the Bulls aren’t any closer to a title now than they were then.

Sale before and after the trade
Paul Beaty/AP Photo  and  Elise Amendola/AP Photo

White Sox send Sale to Boston

Dec. 6, 2016: The White Sox traded Chris Sale to the Red Sox for Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech and Luis Basabe.

Verdict: Sale helped Boston win the World Series in 2018. Meanwhile, the jury is still out on the three guys the White Sox acquired. Moncada showed flashes in 2019, Kopech was sidelined due to Tommy John surgery, and Basabe hasn’t made his major-league debut. Still, all three players have immense potential, but will they live up to expectations?

Sky trade Delle Donne to D.C.

Jan. 30, 2017: The Sky traded Elena Delle Donne to the Mystics for Stefanie Dolson, Kahleah Copper and second overall pick.

Verdict: There was no scenario for the Sky to walk away with a fair trade off once Delle Donne demanded to be dealt. And though Dolson has been a routine starter and Copper is a key spark off the bench, Delle Donne, now a two-time league MVP, is a WNBA champion.

Bears move up to draft Trubisky

April 27, 2017: The Bears traded up to draft Mitch Trubisky second overall.

Verdict: Ryan Pace felt he found his franchise quarterback and to make sure he got him, the Bears GM moved up one spot to take Trubisky at second overall. Was it worth it? It’s too early to say. After leading the Bears to the NFC North title in 2018, Trubisky has been inconsistent in 2019.

Jimmy Butler trade starts Bulls’ rebuild

June 22, 2017: The Bulls traded Jimmy Butler and the 16th overall pick to the Timberwolves for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen.

Verdict: With this trade, the Bulls launched their rebuild, establishing LaVine, Dunn and Markkanen as pillars for the future. However, there’s been some cracks in the foundation. Dunn lost his starting role, and Markkanen and LaVine have struggled to consistently play well together.


Panarin (left) and Saad (right) prior to the trade

AP Photo

Blackhawks swap Panarin for Saad

June 23, 2017: In a busy day for GM Stan Bowman, the Blackhawks traded Artemi Panarin and Tyler Motte to the Blue Jackets for Brandon Saad and Anton Forsberg. (They also traded Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Coyotes for Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin.)

Verdict: The two trades were necessary for long-term contract stability. However, Saad hasn’t been able to match the career-high 53 points he posted in back-to-back seasons with the Blue Jackets, and Forsberg struggled to fill in for a concussed Corey Crawford during the 2017-18 season. Murphy’s been a solid defender but has struggled with his fair share of injuries.

Quintana to Cubs in crosstown deal

July 13, 2017: The White Sox traded Jose Quintana to the Cubs for Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, Bryant Flete and Matt Rose.

Verdict: It’s still way too early to determine which side of town won this trade. On the north end, Quintana has been a solid arm in the rotation and his team-friendly contract allowed the Cubs to address other needs during the offseasons. Meanwhile, on the south side, Jimenez and Cease laid the foundation in 2019 for what appears to be promising futures.

Bears go all-in for Mack

Sept. 1, 2018: The Bears acquired Khalil Mack, a 2020 second-round pick and a 2020 conditional fifth-round pick from the Raiders for a package of draft picks, including two first-rounders.

Verdict: Mack has had a transformative impact on the Bears. In his first season, he had 47 tackles, 12.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and one interception returned for a touchdown all the while helping the Bears take command of the NFC North. His numbers have dipped in 2019 in part due to Akiem Hicks’ injury.

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