Monday was a long day for the Chicago Cubs and then the team played and lost the first game of the Crosstown Series on the South Side on a walk-off in the bottom of the ninth.
The Cubs acquired Aroldis Chapman from the Yankees for a package of four players headlined by top prospect Gleyber Torres and the pitcher the front office received for Starlin Castro, Adam Warren.
Shortly after the Cubs announced the trade, the team sent out statements from Tom Ricketts and Aroldis Chapman. Part of those releases said Theo Epstein would talk about acquiring Chapman before Monday’s game. And Epstein answered questions for more than 33 minutes in the visitor’s dugout at the Cell.
Epstein said you cannot take for granted the position the Cubs are in right now. Epstein admitted the Cubs gave up a lot to acquire Chapman but this was the right time to do so.
Epstein explained the trade shows the faith the front office has in big league club. Every season is sacred and the Cubs felt this was the right time to make a move to add a player like Aroldis Chapman.
“I still value long term, but I still view every chance to win as sacred,” Epstein said.
Epstein called acquiring Chapman “a game changer” and he thinks the Cubs “have a real good chance to win three postseason series.”
The Cubs received permission from Major League Baseball and the Yankees to talk to Chapman before finalizing the deal with the Yankees. Tom Ricketts, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer talked to Chapman on Monday. And Tom Ricketts spoke with Commissioner Manfred regarding Chapman and the domestic violence issue.
“I don’t feel like we compromised integrity in making this move,” Epstein said. “We approached it as thoroughly as we did and gave it as much careful consideration as we did and had a genuine debate about it for weeks because we wanted to make sure we preserve our integrity as an organization.”
“Those of you who have been around us for five years know that character is a major consideration in every transaction we make. That’s why we spent so much time investigating and talking to him. In fact, I have never believed more strongly in the character that we have in this clubhouse and at our core as an organization. I think that allows us to maybe be that forum for players who’ve been through some things and are looking to grow. He was granted a second chance by Major League Baseball and by the Yankees. With our culture and the guys we have in there maybe we’re good for him to continue that process. We are not sacrificing our integrity in any way or compromising or completely turning our back. I understand that people are going to see it different ways. I respect that.”
David Ross talked to the beat writers about the Cubs acquiring Chapman.
“We’re going to welcome him in here with open arms. I don’t like to prejudge guys on their past. We’re excited to get him and give him a clean slate. Hopefully, he has a phenomenal time here in Chicago.”
Ross talked to good friend and Yankees’ catcher Brian McCann about Chapman. McCann told Ross that Chapman is a “phenomenal guy, great teammate who wants to win and has a great attitude.”
Brian Cashman said the Cubs are getting one of the best athletes the Yankees have had during his time with the organization. Cashman pointed out Chapman works his tail off and has no fear.
Comcast SportsNet detailed how Joe Maddon plans to unleash Aroldis Chapman in the Cubs bullpen.
Theo Epstein said the Cubs have not talked to Chapman about a contract extension. And according to the Tribune, the Cubs view Chapman as a rental. The Yankees tried to extend Chapman in June. Chapman is going to free agency.
Aroldis Chapman is expected to join the Cubs on Tuesday night for the second game of the Crosstown Cup Series. The Cubs have not announced what the corresponding roster move needed to place Chapman on the 25-man roster.
- The Athletic – Full Transcript of Theo Epstein’s Press Conference
- Comcast SportsNet – Cubs make business decision to look beyond Aroldis Chapman’s domestic violence suspension
- The Tribune – Cubs bet on Aroldis Chapman to lead them to World Series despite off-field issues
- The Tribune – Trading for Aroldis Chapman shows us what the Cubs stand for
- The Tribune – Cubs had no choice but to get the best closer available
- The Sun-Times – Cubs land Aroldis Chapman in 4-for-1 deal with Yankees
- The Sun-Times – Rizzo on Chapman deal: ‘We’re making a statement’
- Cubs.com – Cubs embrace arrival of electric closer
- ESPN Chicago – Cubs took long, hard look at Aroldis Chapman
- Los Angeles Times – Cubs trade elite prospect to get elite pitcher
- Keith Law – Cubs pay heavy price for Aroldis Chapman, on and off the field
- Joel Sherman – Why the Yankees pounced on this Aroldis Chapman trade
- Tom Verducci – Aroldis Chapman trade gives Cubs crucial piece to postseason puzzle
- Ken Rosenthal – Aroldis Chapman deal could have big impact on Chris Sale’s trade market
The Cubs had a rough six-plus innings Monday at the Cell before the offense woke up and started hitting the baseball. The Cubs baserunning, especially of late, is another area Joe Maddon and the coaching staff must address. There have been too many mistakes on the bases with the Cubs playing close, low-scoring games.
The Cubs lost for only the eighth time on the season (54-8) when they score four or more runs. The Cubs are now 12-16 in one-run games.
While the concerns about the Cubs inability to win close games early in the season were brushed off, this is an issue that must be corrected. Aroldis Chapman will only help with locking down leads. The offense must do a better job of situational hitting and getting the runner in from third with less than two outs.
The front office is exploring ways to add contact hitters to the lineup. There is still too much swing and miss to the Cubs. And it hasn’t helped that one of the players brought in to help the Cubs manufacture runs is marred in a season-long slump.
The Cubs are 20 games over .500 but are one loss away from posting their first losing month under Joe Maddon.
Albert Almora Jr. – Matt Murton
Albert Almora Jr. returned to the I-Cubs and was activated prior to Monday’s game with the Redbirds. Almora Jr. was back in center and hit second behind John Andreoli.
Almora Jr. went 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. Seeing Almora Jr. with a walk in his first game back in the minors is extremely encouraging.
To make room on the active roster for Almora Jr., Matt Murton was placed on the DL with a right quad strain.
In 65 games this season, Matt Murton has hit .322/.354/.412 with 11 doubles, a triple and two home runs for a .766 OPS.
RHP Jordan Pries made his organizational debut on Monday in Memphis. The I-Cubs beat the Redbirds 6-2.
Pries picked up the win after allowing two runs on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts in six innings. Pries gave up two home runs and made 79 pitches, 51 for strikes.
Donnie Dewees was promoted from Low-A South Bend to High-A Myrtle Beach. Dewees broke the news on his personal Twitter account. The Cubs have not made the promotion official yet.
The Cubs second round pick from a year ago put up good numbers in South Bend during what is his first full season of pro ball.
Donnie Dewees batted .282/.337/.414 with 15 doubles, 12 triples and three home runs for a .751 OPS.
Adam Warren – Gleyber Torres – Billy McKinney – Rashad Crawford
The Yankees announced Monday where the four players they received from the Cubs will be assigned.
Adam Warren will join the Yankees in Houston. The Cubs optioned Warren to Triple-A Iowa, but he will stay in the majors after the trade.
Gleyber Torres and Rashad Crawford were assigned to the High-A Tampa Yankees in the Florida State League.
Billy McKinney will report to Double-A Trenton Thunder in the Eastern League.
Gleyber Torres is now the top prospect in the Yankees system. Billy McKinney is fourth on MLB Pipeline’s list.
Gordon Wittenmyer spoke with a scout that said losing the three minor leaguers the Cubs gave up for Aroldis Chapman will not hurt them. The scout rated Torres as the only player with big upside. The Cubs will be just fine with Addison Russell and Javier Baez.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Comcast SportsNet reported the Cubs had more late-inning magic but could not close out the White Sox.
• The White Sox made a pitching change for the Crosstown Series. Anthony Ranaudo will start Wednesday at Wrigley and not Jacob Turner.
• Click here for a few excellent photos from Brian Cassella of former Cubs’ manager Rick Renteria with Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon and Anthony Rizzo prior to Monday’s game.
• The Tribune reported Chris Sale says Robin Ventura ‘has to fight for us’ after uniform flap.
• Danny Ecker reported on what people are paying for the Cubs-White Sox games this week and how those prices compare to the last five years.
• John Shea provided the Giants reaction to the Cubs acquiring Aroldis Chapman.
• According to Marc Topkin, history says Rays’ starters should prepare to be traded. Multiple teams, including the Cubs, are believed to have interest in Chris Archer, Matt Moore and Jake Odorizzi.
• Rich Hill is scheduled to throw a bullpen Wednesday according to Susan Slusser.
• The Marlins are interested in LHP Wade Miley.
• Ken Rosenthal reported the Blue Jays and Padres have agreed on a deal to send Melvin Upton Jr. to the Jays for a Class-A prospect. The trade is expected to be finalized Tuesday.
• Speaking of former Cubs, the Cardinals selected the contract of RHP Jerome Williams and added him to the active roster Monday.
This Day in Cubstory
2013 – Cubs traded Alfonso Soriano and cash to the Yankees for Corey Black
2009 – With a 5-2 win over the Reds at Wrigley Field behind Rich Harden, the Cubs moved into first place in the NL Central.
2005 – After a rain delayed the start of the game for two hours and 43 minutes, Greg Maddux became the 13th pitcher in the history of the game to record 3,000 strikeouts. Maddux struck out Omar Vizquel of the Giants for the career milestone.
1992 – Cubs signed free agent Dave Pavlas
1985 – Cubs traded Tom Grant to the Indians for Dave Beard
1987 – Alex Burnett, born
1985 – Mat Gamel, born
1975 – Bill Madlock collected six hits in a 9-8 Cubs’ loss in 10 innings at Wrigley Field. Madlock singled five times and tripled.
1970 – Glenn Beckert had five hits in five trips to the plate in a 4-3 victory over the Braves at Wrigley Field.
1942 – Clyde McCullough hit three straight home runs in a 4-3 loss to the Phillies in Philadelphia.
1930 – Cubs hit five home runs in a 16-2 thumping of the Phillies. Hack Wilson hit three of the longballs, Gabby Harnett and pitcher Pat Malone hit the other two.
1958 – Cubs released Ted Tappe
1935 – Lou Jackson, born
1922 – Hoyt Wilhelm, born