Justin Verlander got traded to the Astros, but it sounds like he was hoping to get dealt to the Cubs


Justin Verlander got traded to the Astros, but it sounds like he was hoping to get dealt to the Cubs

As the clock struck midnight out on the East Coast to signal Major League Baseball's waiver trade deadline, Justin Verlander didn't turn into a pumpkin.

He turned into a Houston Astro. Though it sounds like he wanted to turn into a Cub.

Yes, the biggest name traded before time ran out on the month of August — a potential future Hall-of-Famer — had the Cubs as his first choice, according to one baseball reporter.

And indeed the Cubs were talking with the Detroit Tigers about landing the six-time All Star.

In the end, it's not too much of a surprise that the Cubs couldn't get a blockbuster deal done to add another All-Star arm to their starting rotation.

The Cubs seemingly exhausted the last of their highly ranked prospect capital in the Crosstown swap that brought Jose Quintana to the North Side and sent the organization's top two prospects, outfielder Eloy Jimenez and pitcher Dylan Cease, to the White Sox.

The Astros ended up handing over three of their top 11 prospects in the trade with the Tigers, sending Franklin Perez, Daz Cameron and Jake Rogers to Houston. Perez is one of the top 50 prospects in baseball.

That likely means one of two things (or maybe both) couldn't make a Cubs-Tigers swap happen. Either the Tigers were demanding one of the Cubs' current core major leaguers in return for Verlander, or the Cubs just didn't have the assets to accommodate whatever long-term rebuild might be on in Detroit. Remember the Tigers also shipped Justin Upton out of town earlier Thursday, getting pitching prospect Grayson Long in return, who was the Tiger's No. 12 prospect prior to the Verlander deal.

Detroit's farm system is in such shape that Jeimer Candelario, who the Cubs traded to the Tigers in the Alex Avila/Justin Wilson deal, was ranked as that organization's No. 3 prospect prior to the Verlander trade.

So Verlander going to Houston made far more sense, even if Verlander wanted to end up on the North Side, because of what the Astros could send back to the Tigers.

Still the Cubs have a pretty stacked rotation and plan to throw Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, Jose Quintana and Kyle Hendricks once the postseason rolls around if they can hang on to their lead in the National League Central.

Should they make it back to the World Series, however, and the Astros are waiting for them there, it could be Verlander pitching against the team he wanted to play for the most.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Willson Contreras throws shade at Yu Darvish


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Willson Contreras throws shade at Yu Darvish

David Haugh (Chicago Tribune), Rich Campbell (Chicago Tribune) and Jay Cohen (Associated Press) join Kap on the panel. Willson Contreras says Yu Darvish lets up with two outs. Was the young catcher right to criticize the veteran pitcher? And what’s your level of concern with the big free agent hurler?

Plus Matt Forte and Devin Hester retire as members of the Bears. Is Devin Hester’s next stop in Canton? And will the franchise’s career passing leader get a day like this?

Addison Russell hospitalized Sunday due to allergic reaction


Addison Russell hospitalized Sunday due to allergic reaction

Addison Russell was briefly hospitalized Sunday night after suffering an allergic reaction, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Russell, 24, suffered an allergic reaction to something he ate in the Cubs' clubhouse after the team's 9-7 win over the Rockies. He stayed in Denver overnight and spent a couple of hours in a hospital for observation.

Despite the situation, Russell said he felt much better by the time he got back to the team hotel. He flew to Cleveland Monday and said that he felt normal, according to Wittenmyer.

Russell entered Sunday's game as a pinch hitter and finished the day 0-for-2 at the plate. He is hitting .219 for the season.

The Cubs open a two-game series against the Indians Tuesday. Russell said Monday that he thought he would be good to play Tuesday, but only time will tell if that is the case.