Though he wasn’t on the team when the Cubs won the World Series last November, Adam Warren will be going home with some new jewelry.
The 29-year-old pitcher was the latest former Cub who received his championship ring prior to Friday’s Cubs-Yankees game at Wrigley Field.
But this one wasn’t like others. It took place in the visitor’s bullpen underneath the bleachers.
“It just happened to me that way,” Warren said. “(Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer) were trying to catch me at the right time. I think they saw me out in the field so we did it in the bullpen. It felt appropriate.”
Warren wasn’t part of the pregame ceremony with Aroldis Chapman, who had his ring presented behind home plate. Warren said that it made perfect sense for Chapman to get the praise since he was on the roster.
In December 2015, Warren was traded from the Yankees to the Cubs as a key component that sent Starlin Castro to the Bronx. The following season, Warren was flipped back to the Yankees – along with Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford – in exchange for closer Aroldis Chapman.
Looking back on the trade, Warren believes that it all worked out for the better.
“I mean they got Chapman last year and obviously how important he was down the stretch,” Warren said. “You get some young talent and to have Chapman back with the Yankees now it seems like it worked out well.”
Warren had a hard time searching for consistency in Chicago. In four months with the team, he finished with a 3-2 record but had a 5.91 ERA and recorded 27 strikeouts.
Joe Maddon isn’t sure why things didn’t really click.
“I was a huge fan when I was working against him with the Rays,” Maddon said. “I thought he was spectacular. I don’t know 100 percent why. He just could never get his feet on the ground.
“He gets back there (in New York last year) and all of a sudden he did better. And I know the numbers this year are really, really good.
“I have no solid answer to that question. He just never seemed to get settled in.”
This season has been a different story. Warren entered Friday with a 0.63 ERA in eight appearances, and even kicked off the year by retiring the first 22 batters he faced. He's firing on all cylinders early on, so the trade worked out for the better.
And even though he wasn't a member of the Cubs' championship-winning team, he'll still show off his new hardware with pride knowing he was part of a team that would eventually make history.
"I’m not really sure where I’d wear it," Warren said. "But I’m going to show it off a lot. I’m just going to say that."