The Best Trades We NEVER Made

Time will tell if the Cubs just lucked out by not acquiring Brian Roberts. His strength wouldn't have been in the field as we already have a solid second baseman in Mark DeRosa. Roberts would have given the Cubs a leadoff switch-hitter with a track record of well above average OBP and basestealing ability. Not making the trade keeps the Cubs farm system talent pool of near MLB ready talent available for the future, whether it be a different transaction or if those prospects develop further, maybe a spot on the roster if an injury occurs. Could Sean Gallagher replace one of our 5 starters if more than one breaks down? Will Eric Patterson become a bona-fide mlb leadoff hitter? Can Jose Ceda or lefty Donald Veal become the power arm that teams drool over with just a little more seasoning? Will Roberts back spasms limit his playing time this year devaluing his baserunning skills and therefore his trade value on a team which needed to completely rebuild with young talent?

I tried to think of deals that were rumored but never happened, but ultimately worked out better than if the trade had occurred. Last year Jacques Jones was almost dealt to the Marlins while being nearly useless to the club the first half of 2007. After that "almost trade" he started hitting again and some would say that was the difference the team needed to make the playoffs.

I'm sure Cubs history is full of rumored deals that never happened giving credence to the cliche that "not making that trade was the best thing that could have happened". So here's a chance for TCR readers to chime in on trades that almost happened (but never did) and the historical hindsight that goes with it.


One of the Best Trades We NEVER Made was definitely when Mary Rowengartner blocked the trade of her son and cubs star pitcher Henry Rowengartner to the Yankees. Henry was a 12 years old star prospect known for his 103 mph fast ball, great locker room personality and historic hidden ball trick. Without Henry Rowengartner we never would have taken the mets for that divisional championship.

Here's one that I remembered. Dateline June 2000.

Sosa to the Yankees (rumored for Soriano). Now I'd consider that oddly ironic more than anything.

Not sure I agree with you on this one, Cubster. Despite all of his home runs, the Cubs might have been better off after 2000 without Sammy Selfish.

Also, the irony is there on a number of levels. That "the Cubs insisted on five players" for Sosa sure sounds like MacPhail's handiwork. It's what he tried to get for Roberts the last couple of months.

I agree it's not the ideal example of being better off for not making the trade. Unloading Sosa's contract at that point would have saved the Cubs a ton of aggravation. Still, with what they are paying Soriano it's ultimately a wash (or maybe worse). Also the outfield in 2003 might have been Soriano in LF and Alou in RF (very ugly), assuming they could have gotten Soriano to move from 2B. Or Soriano at 2B might have affected the move of unloading Todd Hundley for Grudzielanek (and Karros).

Still, with what they are paying Soriano it's ultimately a wash

But we wouldn't have been paying Soriano what we are paying him now. That doesn't make much sense.

Soriano's current salary has little relevance to this discussion.

I would also say that it is probably safe to assume that Soriano would have stayed at 2b, at least in 2000.

So this doesn't exactly fit since it wasn't a trade, but I think we can all agree the original 3/44 was a great signing that never happened.

Excellent call...getting stuck Jason Schmidt would have been very ugly. It also might have made Hendry pass on Ted Lilly.

All right, I'm not playing by the rules again, but here's an interesting one:

Not signing Jim Thome a few years ago when he stated he would like to play for the Cubs. At the time, the Cubs were still clinging to Hee Seop Choi, but then he turned into D-Lee. I could be getting my years mixed up, but Thome might have made the difference for us in 2004 when we just missed the playoffs; however, he'd be an albatross now compared to Lee.

Thome was before the 2003 season, he might have helped a bit.

"he might have helped a bit."

2003: .266/.385/.573/.958 w/ 47 HR and 131 RBI
2004: .274/.396/.581/.977 w/ 42 HR and 105 RBI
2005: hurt
2006: .288/.416/.598/1.014 w/ 42 HR and 109 RBI
2007: .275/.410/.563/.973 w/ 35 HR and 96 RBI

Yeah with those numbers, he might have helped a smidge. :)

Based on what we know now of Palmiero, I'd put Jim Frey's not trading Mark Grace -- and trading Palmiero instead -- on this list.

Didn't he trade Palmeiro because he slept with Cindy Sandberg? That's one possible Mariotti column I might actually want to read.

I always thought it was Grace who slept with Cindy Sandberg.

Who hasn't slept with Cindy "Slutty" Sandberg?

Another good non-trade was the Tampa Bay Rays' Aubrey Huff. They were asking for as much as MacPhail been asking for Roberts and Huff has turned out to be a huge bust.

Allegedly they both did. Along with Dave Martinez and Tuffy Rhodes. Allegedly

NO that was the slump buster Grace slept with.

I always thought Don Zimmer was the guy who slept with Cindy Sandberg?

Cue: Interpol, "There's No 'I' in Threesome"

Cue: Interpol, "There's No 'I' in Threesome"

I really like that song, tune-wise. But man, the title and lyrics almost ruin it.

Not a trade, but I'm glad Mike Hampton was greedy and liked Colorado's schools so much.

From what I heard when I lived in Chandler, AZ who didn't sleep with Cindy Sandberg?

Hey, I live in Chandler, now... you got an address? LOL

I posted this in the previous thread but was hoping to get some more exposure in the new thread:

I've been running a Home Run Pool for the last 5 years. You pick 11 players from 4 groups of players. But, you also get to write in 4 players that aren't on lists - a lot of people really like this strategic aspect. There is a total of 15 players selected plus 1 tiebreaker. It costs $20 per entry and all money is returned to the pot. Last year there were 80 participants. The 4 highest HR totals payout. I expect the same level of participation this year but am always hoping for more! If you're interested send me an email at [email protected] and I'll send you an entry form. The deadline to submit picks is March 30th at 11:59 PM CST so act quickly!

We get it dude.

Enoght with the recruiting postings.


Ignore E-man, I'll try and give it a mention in TCR Friday Notes...

Can I post tickets here?

I prefer not, especially if you're trying to profit off of it...

What if I wish to post for face value only?

If people can recruit to "profit" from a gambling pool, and the top four winners share a pot of $20 per participant, where is the line here, ROB G?

you know what? good point...

my ticket mention yesterday was a favor for someone and something I don't intend to do much of again. I don't really care about Stanley mentioning his little pool, but I don't really care to make a habit of it either. And I definitely don't want folks to hawk their tickets for profit on here...

So yeah...everyone knock it off! :)

P.S. - it was Davey Martinez who was traded for sleeping with Sandberg's wife.

But, didn't Duane Kuiper claim Mrs. Sandberg was actually his 2nd MLB HR?

Yikes, she must have been a slumpbuster.

No way.

You must not know the definition of a slumpbuster.

please see def. 3

Wrong, a slumpbuster, mustn't be fat. That is a myth. She just has to be ugly. Cindy, ain't got the pretty.


Fat is the heart of what makes a slumpbuster.

With an ugly chick, you can close your eyes and you'll never know the difference.

She was more like the wife that William H. Macy blew away in Boogie Nights.

Nina Hartley???

Ryno comes around back from his house with a BBQ and Cindy is getting nailed in the driveway by Mitch Webster.

Prior for Tejada?

nope....that's probably the opposite of what you're thinking....


Prior for some diamond dry and a used infield rake? Oh, ditto on the opposite.

I could really use a good used infield rake right about now.

Cubs placed LHP Scott Eyre on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 23, with a sore left elbow.

Eligible to come off around 4-7, so he misses at least the opening two series.

Does anyone know where I might be able to get into a HR Pool of some sort?

says he spent the offseason working on his range, and is pleased so far with the results...

Cubs wanted him to work on his hands this offseason which he did as well...

Mark DiFelice vs Cory Bailey!??


my response:

One of the best Cubs blog period (along with VFTB), end of story. The fact that it was not included makes me think that y'all fear "The Cub Reporter." TCR is one of my 1st choices for Cubs news.

i am guessing the trib is jealous of TCR, i mean lets face it, rob does incredible work, azphil is the roster/minors god, we got the doctor explaining all things doctory, cubnut, well is cubnut, the godfather ruz, manny is the typical idiotic troll and trans likes DS9...

And all the Phil Rogers bashing.


Not really a trade, and, actually, in the opposite spirit of the thread, but:

I really think the Cubs made a mistake when they signed Piniella instead of Girardi.

I wish the Fred McGriff acquisition didn't happen. Was he traded to us? I remember he resisted coming here and then when he did, it was too late to make a difference.

we got him in a trade from TB. All we gave up was Jason Smith and Manny Aybar though. Probably the best talent for talent trade that McFail ever made.

OK Thanks.

Back on topic...

I don't think the Cubs ever actually tried to trade him, but keeping Aramis at the 2006 trade deadline was wise...

However trading Type A free agent to be Greg Maddux for the ghost of Cesar Izturis....... Not so much

still harping on this one? Cubs weren't going to offer Maddux arbitration and risk having to give him a raise.

They gave Jason F*$@N Marquis a 3/21 contract. Why wouldnt they offer arbitration to Maddux?

because Maddux wanted to play for a contender down the stretch and wanted to go to the West Coast.

Well... if that is true, then they definitely should have offered him arbitration, as he probably would have turned it down.

But I don't think the Maddux/Izturis trade was a bad one.

They took a flier on a guy who had been (slightly) better, and it didn't work out. But Maddux wanted to be traded, and they did it for him.

What about the Mark Grace and prospects for Don Mattingly rumor...did I dream this?

It was a long time ago, but Leo Durocher recounted in his book ("Nice Guys Finish Last") that he attempted to trade Billy Williams to Baltimore at one point.

I should add that the player in question from Baltimore was not anyone good - no Frank Robinson or Jim Palmer in the mix.

I remember last year at some point the White Sox wanted to trade for Marmol...yeah, right...

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Hah which reminds me this is a good article about Ross:

  • Gordo tweeted:

    "I'm pretty comfortable moving all over. I like it that way, too. It keeps me on my toes and ready each and every game.”--Bryant last week.

    So it could be he's just saying the right things, but I believe him.

  • Which means if you shut this place down, and the Cubs go back to their old ways, we will all have to hunt you down, kidnap you, and strap you to a chair to listen to Tim McCarver and Joe Buck repeatedly, with dollops of Hawk Harrelson thrown in for good measure.

  • You got a problem with David Ross?

  • La Stella (3B) batting fifth. Could be the La Stella game.

  • [Drafts plans for CTSteve idol.]

  • Pitcher batting 9th. Bryant in left, Schwarber in right.

  • i'm not ready for it to end.

    i'm not ready for "well, they weren't supposed to make it this year..."

    i'm not ready to talk about the off-season yet.

  • I can relate to that, E-Man. I don't think I'll enjoy watching a high-stakes away game like this on TV. I've watched a lot of games this season after they ended or at least after the Cubs got out to a decent lead. Since they usually win, I've gotten to see a lot of baseball.

    But in this case I think we should probably all watch the game live, and not let the pressure exceed the pleasure.

  • Remember, as I told my wife when our kids went off to college -- this is a good thing! Enjoy it!

  • Fully agree -- can't prove it. But, the numbers are what they are, and a lot of his OF games have come in Aug & Sept, when he has been killing the ball otherwise. And, knowing how baseball players love routine, it seems logical that it could at least be a a factor.

    Really, really, really hope I'm wrong on this.

  • Indeed! It has been absolute blast -- from getting swept by the Phillies to sweeping the Giants, I have always enjoyed being part of this group. Hope we have a lot more games to talk about this year.

  • Yes, cheers to me! I've noticed a fairly strong correlation between my tenure and Cubbie victories. 

    And thanks to Michael for our new diggs--and to y'all for sticking around! 

  • CHEERS to CT Steve for keeping this alive in 2015. Who would have thought that the season would have been so successful to this point? Thank you CT STEVE!

    I think I may be too nervous to watch the entire game. I will probably watch in bits and pieces - and constantly check MLB App. I will be like Blockhead: Nervous Nellie.

  • You can't prove the performance is because he played the OF. You just can't. Sorry.

    BTW, Bryant hit .168 in July playing 3B exclusively.

  • oh man, early on it seems like he made at least 1 stupid baserunning blunder per game and almost every single one turned into a positive for the cubs. it was magical.