Potential signings that thankfully never wore Cub Blue


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Patrick Gorski - USA Today Sports
Patrick Gorski - USA Today Sports

CHICAGO -- When building a team from scratch you need three things: wisdom, money, and luck. Even the greatest executives have made some terrible trades. How about Theo Epstein’s trading D.J. Lemahieu and Tyler Colvin for Ian Stewart in 2011? I think he made up for that one with Cashner for Rizzo. People forget one of his first deals was Travis Wood for Sean Marshall. Wood turned out to be a valuable swing piece, while Marshall battled shoulder problems that derailed his career.

As I reflect back on how the Cubs got themselves in position to be an annual World Series contender I can’t help but think of a series of moves over several offseasons that they tried to make and players DIDN'T take their money! If these players had signed, then they might have won a few more games during those years, and those wins could have prevented them from being in the position to draft the likes of Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ. Here is a list of players fans should be glad never wore Cub blue, or we might still be singing the World Series blues!

Anibal Sanchez: The Cubs sent a private contingent to Miami to reel him in after the 2012 season, but fell just short of the Tigers five-year $80 million dollar offer. In five seasons with Detroit, Sanchez was just 46-49 with an ERA of 4.50. Instead, the Cubs spent that money on Jason Hammel and John Lackey and got a combined 56 wins during the duo’s time in Chicago for a lot less than $80 million.

Russell Martin: After the 2014 season, the Cubs were in need of veteran leadership behind the plate. The Cubs didn’t offer him a fifth year in the contract and he took Toronto’s money, which was a five-year $82 million dollar deal. The Cubs instead traded for Miguel Montero, whose extra-inning hit sealed the 2016 World Series win. Oh, and by the way, the Cubs saved about $40 million and Montero helped bring along slowly Willson Contreras as an elite catcher, as Contreras was originally an infielder.

Joe Girardi: Brian Cashman was prepared to let Girardi come to Chicago, but thankfully he stayed in New York, if not Joe Maddon might have been in New York or Los Angeles winning championship rings.

James Shields: Joe Maddon wanted Shields to bolster a young rotation. Shields was a workhorse, but all those innings were catching up to him. The Cubs were still believed to be offering more than $70 million, but thankfully for everyone’s sake he wanted to be closer to home, and he took a 5-year 75 million dollar deal with the Padres. One interesting tidbit is he was the first pitcher Kris Bryant faced in his big league debut in May 2015. If Shields were on the Cubs, he would still be on the books, tying up dollars for future transactions. He would have made Edwin Jackson, who was 16-34 with a 5.65 Era in two-plus seasons in Chicago quite the bargain with his 4-year 52 million dollar deal. Cubs fans should always thank Mr. Jackson because if it were not for him giving up homers during the era of “tactical” losing, we might not have all those No. 1 draft picks in the everyday lineup!

So there is your list of guys we are glad were never Cubs if they took the Cubs money the “Eamus Catuli” sign on the building in right field would never read AC 000000!!!

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