So a lot for threading theneedle.

The blockbuster trade the Cubs and Padres pulled off Monday night time for Yu Darvish made that not possible.

In truth, with one, sweeping 5-for-2 trade that shipped out their greatest pitcher, the Cubs went from pledging to no less than attempt to defend their 2020 National League Central title throughout a interval of roster transition to tanking the 2021 season.

Tanking is nothing new for the Cubs. They grew to become the primary big-market group in major-league historical past to tank full seasons (submit free company) throughout their final rebuild, which began 9 years in the past. As ugly as that that tanking course of was then, it produced a 2016 championship and got here with the general public promise of sustained success with an implicit promise that extra tanking wouldn’t be vital.

To do it once more 4 years after that championship is an indictment of the group and a betrayal of a fan base that was charged prime greenback over the past tanking course of and gouged to its backside greenback for the reason that championship.

As one fan tweeted Monday night time: What a option to finish the yr, with a large intestine punch.

Many on social media weren’t as type as that, particularly when referring to a billionaire household of homeowners who profited yearly off the membership/followers till the pandemic whereas watching the franchise almost quadruple in worth from the 2009 buy worth of $846 million.

Chairman Tom Ricketts informed ESPN in June that business losses throughout a lethal pandemic and a time of document U.S. unemployment have been biblical, then laid off greater than 100 staff most of whom have been making a lot lower than $100,000 after which mandated payroll reducing for 2021.

And on Nov. 23 as Jed Hoyer was promoted to group president following Theo Epsteins resignation, Ricketts appeared to guarantee followers {that a} tear-down/rebuild was not in play:

I dont suppose anybodys tearing something down, he stated.


The Cubs not solely jettisoned the very best pitcher from a group with beginning pitching wants however threw in Victor Caratini, Darvishs private catcher and safety blanket throughout that dominant second half in 2019 and Cy Young near-miss in 2020.

Non-tendering Kyle Schwarber won’t be tearing something down. Trading Kris Bryant won’t even qualify.

But most of us knew precisely what a Darvish trade would sign.

On Monday it meant a smack within the face to Cubs followers who endured a painful climb the final time, a steep and fast decline after 2016 and a ballpark closed to spectators in 2020.

Trade the one energy pitcher within the rotation for a bushel of A-ball prospects on the heels of his runner-up end for Cy Young?

That message was clear:

Tanks, lots. And dont neglect to order your Zach Davies jersey earlier than spring coaching.

Davies, the previous Brewers starter with one yr left of membership management, is the one participant near the large leagues among the many 5 the Cubs received within the deal. He slots into the rotation behind Kyle Hendricks at this level.

Its too early to know whether or not the Cubs will wind up withmultiple All-Stars and celebrating this trade or regretting it after a run of dry Octobers. Three of the 4 prospects within the deal are youngsters; the opposite is 20.

But for what its value, not one of the 4 have been ranked by prospect evaluators among the many Padres prime 10.

Who is aware of what which means 4 years from now?

Today it means one of many wealthiest, biggest-revenue, jewel franchises within the majors is tanking once more.

And its a humiliation.

Its not what a financially wholesome, big-market membership does, even throughout a pandemic. Its not what a group with a wholesome farm system does. And you wouldnt suppose its what a franchise attempting to get an costly new TV community off the bottom does.

But by off-boarding many of the $60 million owed to Darvish over the subsequent three years, the Cubs billionaire house owners secured extra respiration room to pay on these enterprise loans theyve taken out to purchase up and redevelopWrigleyville in recent times.

One supply informed NBC Sports Chicagos David Kaplan that these loans add as much as about $1 billion in debt for the Rickettses involving the franchise and associated companies, equivalent to Hickory Street Capital, their actual property firm.

Whether its structured and related to the franchise in a means that technically violates MLBs debt service guidelines, it actually appears to violate the intent of these guidelines (that are collectively bargained with the gamers union).

Either means, the instant result’s a nasty, bitter, tanking tablet Cubs followers will probably be requested to swallow once more and to pay for.

If they nonetheless select to this time round.


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So a lot for threading theneedle.

So a lot for threading theneedle.