Cubs GM Jed Hoyer was asked on 670 The Score if he had regrets over trading for José Quintana instead of Justin Verlander.
“Of course we have regret.”
In case you’ve somehow forgotten, the Cubs were one of Justin Verlander’s preferred teams before the trade deadline in August of 2017. The Cubs and the Detroit Tigers couldn’t reach a deal, but the Cubs had already traded for Quintana and were comfortable with where they stood.
After the trade fell through, Verlander didn’t go away quietly, but instead reinvigorated his career on the Astros. The Astros traded three prospects—Franklin Perez, Daz Cameron, and Jake Rogers— in exchange for Verlander and boy did that pay off. Verlander went on the win the World Series with the Astros in 2017. With this most recent no-hitter, Verlander is a real contender to win his second Cy Young Award. Following this past Sunday's outing, he has a 2.43 ERA in 68 starts with Houston. And this doesn’t even include his nine postseason appearances since the trade.
Hoyer went on to say, “There's ones that you beat yourself up over because you think, 'What could we have seen differently? Could we have predicted this?' Obviously, we didn't. His late-career resurgence has been amazing.”
It’s hard to imagine what recent seasons would’ve looked like if Verlander made it to Wrigley like he had once hoped. Quintana was a promising veteran starter for the Sox, but following the trade his ERA has hovered around to 4.00 during his tenure with the Cubs. Overall Quintana has been a decent player with the Cubs, but what’s done is done, and it is an interesting (and mildly infuriating) to wonder “what if.”Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream
Oh no, it happened again.
ESPN didn’t quite forget the White Sox this time. They just happened to forget what jersey the team wears.
On Sportscenter’s Snapchat, they had a video explaining that the White Sox will play the Yankees at the Field of Dreams in Iowa. When there should have been an image of the White Sox, instead there was a pair of Detroit Tigers displayed. To make things weirder, Gordon Beckham, a former first-round pick of the White Sox who spent seven years with the team, was one of the Tigers in the image.
It has since been fixed, but it was captured and posted on Twitter.
This incident can join the list of an ESPN graphic that didn’t include the 2005 World Series win for the White Sox, the stat ESPN Stats & Info tweeted that left off the 11-1 postseason record for that team and the time an ESPN researcher didn’t include Frank Thomas in a list of players to finish in the top four of MVP voting. There’s also the Wheel of Fortune puzzle that had the other four major Chicago sports teams and didn’t include the White Sox, but that’s not ESPN’s fault.
Add it to the list of grievances, White Sox fans.
Prior to getting traded to the Cubs, Nicholas Castellanos was leading the American League in doubles.
Just a few games into his Chicago tenure, he's shown exactly why — hustling out of the box on balls hit down the right-field line in back-to-back games Friday and Saturday, pushing the envelope and getting himself into scoring position.
"He's reminding us what hunger looks like," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of the hustle. "This guy, he's really happy to be here and play in this ballpark and he wants to get to the postseason badly. I love what he's doing. Every day, conversationally, his work — everything about him indicates 'Let's go; I want to play in October.' And I love it."
Castellanos got a brief taste of postseason life with the Tigers in 2014, though he was only a 22-year-old rookie then and hasn't been back since.
"He wants to win," Jason Heyward said. "That stands out to me most. ...He's just a person that comes in and understands you don't have a chance to win every season. We have a chance to win a ring and he wants to make the most of that, so it's appreciated."
When asked about his high-energy level by a Chicago media member over the weekend, he laughed and said he must be a good actor because he certainly doesn't always feel 100 percent.
"Every day is Opening Day — that's the way I go about it," he said. "Just be the best version of yourself every day and even on days when that's hard...fake it."
That "every day is Opening Day" mindset can be a huge help in baseball, especially at this point in the long season for position players. But it also helps in a game predicated on failure, where even the best of the best still make an out nearly 70 percent of the time.
Castellanos said he learned how to deal with failure and slumps from Miguel Cabrera — the Tigers slugger and future Hall of Famer who has been one of the best right-handed hitters of the current generation.
"What I took away from him was how to be a kid playing baseball," Castellanos said. "A kid in backyard Wiffle ball never goes into a slump because he's having too much fun with that at-bat to worry about what's happening. That's me."
Maybe the Cubs need a little bit of that right now.
They already have another fun-loving kid in the everyday lineup in Javy Baez and as the Cubs try to figure out how to put their road struggles behind them and stop playing so tight and more free, maybe it's Castellanos' attitude as well as his bat that could help the team moving forward.
"That's the way it should be," Maddon said. "But are you gonna get everybody to be that way? No. It's just where you came from, how you were raised and the influences that you've had. And he's had good influences.
"The guy's focused during every conversation he has, beyond being focused for every pitch, which I'm seeing so far. He's been very interesting and entertaining already and I love that Miguel had told him that and I'm glad that he's taken to that. Because that's the only way to play this game. Javy plays that way all the time.
"You just gotta go out there and play and let it fly a little bit and you can't worry about mental mistakes. Physical mistakes are gonna happen. So I love that [mindset]."
Add that attitude in with the natural bump that comes when you jump from last place in the standings to a legitimate contender and it's the perfect mix for Castellanos right now. We saw the same thing with Cole Hamels last year when he came over to Chicago after a tough year with the Texas Rangers.
"It's definitely a boost of energy, that's for sure," he said. "We weren't exactly having the best year over there. And as a competitor, you take pride in winning. I don't think I love winning; I hate losing. So when our record was whatever it was, it can become a drag and you really gotta fake it.
"So to come over here where you're in the middle of it and you have fans behind you and you have a clubhouse like this and facilities like this, faking it is very easy."