Theo Epstein Era Trades: Which Trade Is His Best?

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By Clark Lorensen

Theo Epstein was hired to be the President of Baseball Operations on October 25, 2011 and brought in his guy Jed Hoyer to join him as General Manager the next day.  The Epstein-Hoyer era includes quite a few trades of significance so we here at the Cub Junction ask you, what’s the best trade they’ve made?

December 23, 2011:  Sean Marshall to the Cincinnati Reds for Travis Wood, Ronald Torreyes (minors), Dave Sappelt

The Cubs released Sappelt on November 19, 2013.   The Red Sox signed him this June and he currently on loan in the Mexican League playing for Campeche.Who’s Shawn Marshall?

January 6, 2012:  Andrew Cashner and Kyung-Min Na to the San Diego Padres for  Anthony Rizzo and Zach Cates

66 Hendricks 

July 31, 2012:  Ryan Dempster to the Texas Rangers for Christian Villanueva and Kyle Hendricks

Dempster retired after winning a World Series with Boston and is now working for the Cubs as a special assistant to Theo Epstein. Hendricks is in the Cubs rotation and Villanueva is having a very good year at the plate at AAA Iowa.

July 2, 2013:  Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman to the Baltimore Orioles for Jake Arrieta, Pedro Strop and cash
Clevenger might be a AAAA ball player.  He was recalled to the Orioles from his most recent stint with Triple A Norfolk on Friday and went 4-6 in his second game back on Sunday.

Feldman was a free agent at the end of the 2013 season and signed a three year contract with the Houston Astros. He is 18-23 with a 4.06 ERA since the trade.

Jake Arrieta is 28-13 with a 2.62 ERA and 1.010 WHIP since joining the Cubs.  He is 10-2 in his 14 starts since the beginning of June and there he has entered the Cy Young conversation.  In parts of four seasons with the Orioles he was 20-25 with a 5.46 ERA and a 1.472 WHIP.

Pedro Strop has a 2.48 ERA and 0.989 WHIP in 159 appearance with the Cubs.  While with the Orioles he had a 3.30 ERA and a 1.366 WHIP in 111 appearances.  Also, did you hear that he struck out Alexi Ramirez on Friday at U.S. Cellular Field?

Strop celebration

July 22, 2013:  RHP Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers for Mike Olt, Justin Grimm, C.J. Edwards and Neil Ramirez

Olt, Grimm, Edwards and Ramirez are all currently on the Cubs 40 man roster.  Matt Garza is living out his later years just a couple hours to the north.

July 5, 2014:  Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics for Addison Russell, Dan Straily and Billy McKinney
Todd currently has Billy McKinley number two on his Cubs Top 21 Prospect List.  Dan Straily was traded with Luis Valbuena to the Houston Astros for Dexter Fowler on January 19 of this year

December 9, 2014:  Miggy Montero to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Zack Godley and Jeferson Mejia

Godley made his debut last month as a starter for the Diamondbacks and Mejia has struggled in short season and low A ball this year.  Miggy, he can catch a little. This trade marks Theo’s first Cubs’ trade for veteran talent.