View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



December 2016



How the Sox Stole Chris Sale-mas…

Written by , Posted in General

All the Cubs down in Wrigleyville loved October a lot, but the White Sox did not. No, they won’t be stealing Christmas from our north-side heroes, but things seem to be quite surly on the South Side.

As the Cubs continue to bask in the glory of their first championship in over a century, the White Sox negotiated to give naming rights to a company whose branding has drawn visual association to the lack of success for the franchise since 2005. It has been a great offseason by default for the boys in blue, regardless of moves. I mean, Kris Bryant got to meet Ellen!

I get it. There are a portion of Sox fans out that have enjoyed watching the Cubs struggle for a long time. They have turned years of painful losses into jabs and jaws at the expense of die-hard fans every-where.

However, a fan base that averages 14,000 less fans at home than the Cubs average on the road lost its favorite jab. We are Loveable losers no longer. In fact, the White Sox seem to be envious of the Cubs rebuild success enough to try it themselves. The Sox began exploring the return they could get for dealing Chris Sale, who not only is one of the top lefties in the game, but under a very team friendly contract. Return for this type of player was hard to really quantify, but it is safe to say it would be massive. There were few teams in baseball that had the farm systems to pull this off.


The White Sox  made it clear to the media a week ago that they had no interest in making a deal with the Cubs for Chris Sale.


Before  conversations began with any team, the Sox strapped Max to the sleigh and stole away the far-fetched dream of having Sale in blue pinstripes.

I understand we are geographically foes. Maybe not as much of rivals as a silver cup wants us to be. That being said, isn’t it the responsibility of the front office team on the South Side to get the BEST return possible for Sale? What if the Cubs called Hahn and the gang and offered Eloy, Baez, Happ, Schwarber, and others? (They wouldn’t, but still.)

It seems close minded to take one of the better farm systems off the table when you are looking to build the best ball club for sustainable success.

The Cubs and the Sox have been trade partners before, but how did that work out?

March 30, 1992: OF Sammy Sosa and P Ken Patterson are acquired from the White Sox for OF George Bell.

This trade is notable for the Cubs, for they received a player that became the face of the team and was a key piece to ’98 and ’03 playoff runs.  George Bell was a veteran DH for the South-siders to help solidify the lineup.  He accumulated 38 HRs and 176 RBIs in 257 games.

July 29, 1998: P Matt Karchner is acquired from the White Sox for P Jon Garland.

The Cubs acquired a bullpen arm before the deadline, while the Sox received a 19 year-old prospect. Garland had a career 4.41 ERA and 92 wins in his career on the South side, but was integral to the 2005 pitching staff that won the World Series. In 2005, Garland had 18 wins and the only All-Star game selection of his career. He added 2.25 ERA in 2 starts in the playoffs.

These are just two of many examples of trades between the two teams that brought joy to different sides at different times. Ultimately, organizations hit highs and lows at different times and need each other to address their needs. Maybe the White Sox should have set aside a childish grudge and entertained offers from Baseball Prospectus’ 12th ranked farm system.

While I did dream of Theo, Jed, Rick, and Jerry joining hands to sing “Welcome, Christmas” with all the fans down in Wrigleyville, Boston jumped the bait and sent a pretty solid gift to the Sox in exchange for the ace. With this deal coming together this way the White Sox Front Office’s brain grew 3 sizes today. Or will that be the Cubs trophy case…these Seuss tales can be hard to remember…

  • Chris Hart

    Great job Jeff!

    • Jeff R

      Thank you!

  • Welcome Jeff! We’re so happy to have you here! I didn’t really covet Sale on any terms but I agree with you that they should have put their big girl panties on and at least entertained an offer.

    • Eddie Von White

      Agree. Nice job Jeff. Also agree about what you said about Chris Sale. He’s kind of a mental midget and as cap’n says, we already have one of those on our staff.

      • Jeff R

        Thank you! I agree the idea was farfetched, just a fun Christmas themed commentary

    • Jeff R

      Thank you! It is great to have a larger community to interact with my reading!

  • SouthCarolinaCubFan1991

    Remember when Sammy Sosa weighed about 190 and was a 30/30 guy? Pepperidge Farms remembers.

  • Adam Peters

    I don’t find it the least bit surprising that the Sox wouldn’t consider trading Sale to the Cubs. The idea of trading Sale in it’s own right is risky for them. He’s they’re only elite player and if these prospects don’t pan out this move will be a PR nightmare. Supposedly these are “can’t miss” guys, but who’s to say their player development system won’t screw them up?

    They are already behind the 8 ball with the Cubs winning it all and being in the position to contend for the foreseeable future. If they traded Sale and he tore it up on the North Side it would embitter their fan base even more (hard to believe it’s possible, I know) no matter who they got in return.

    And there’s more to this than just baseball players. You don’t see many deals between the Yankees & Mets do you?

    A little anecdote to illustrate my point:
    My brother is a big Sox fan. When they won in 2005 I called him to offer my congratulations that night. This year not only did he not call me when the Cubs won, he told my sisters (both Cubs fans) that there wouldn’t be ANY discussion of the Cubs at Thanksgiving this year, which he was hosting.

    Additionally, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kenny is just afraid to do a deal with Theo for fear that he will take him to the cleaners.

    • Doug S.

      Not cool of the bro. Is he also a patriots fan?

      • Adam Peters

        No, he’s a Bears fan, but he’s a tool.

      • Doug S.

        Oops, I got my Sox mixed up.

      • AC0000000

        I turned in my fan card when they didn’t fire Lovie after 2009. It was the fans who ran me out. That’s why I’m now a Packers fan.

      • Wait I thought Sox fans pelted you with trash?

      • AC0000000

        They did at a game I went to in 2005.

    • Eddie Von White

      I would have made alternate Thanksgiving plans. That’s just inexcusable and haughty, which is never a good brother trait.

    • Doc Raker

      Sad story about your bro. I was happy for the Sox and the City when they won. I don’t understand the bitterness, it is like their team gives them their self worth. It is not healthy. It’s a game for goodness sakes.

    • Jeff R

      I have lived in the South Suburbs my whole life. I will admit I am pretty surly at times based on how I was treated for just loving my team through thick and thin. I regret being…not so supportive…when the Sox won in 2005. To my defense, I was 16. I unfortunately have not received much support from my Sox friends. Most spent the playoffs trolling me to try to get me mad. Why??

      • AC0000000

        Welcome aboard Jeff. I’ll field that question. It’s because White Sox fans are insufferable poops (family blog) that are just Cubs haters who need a team to root for. They’re more concerned with the Cubs losing than their team winning, that even when the trash are in a playoff chase with the Twins Indians Tigers or Royals, they will root for them to defeat the Cubs. I was 17 in 2005 when they won it all, and I told that I should be supporting my city. I told those people to piss off. I used to root for both teams, and in fact in 2000 I was cheering for them. The 2003 playoffs taught me to hate them. They weren’t rooting for us. So after that, I decided to start rooting against them, and I still do. Their fans are the dumbest fans in sports. They are incapable of saying anything except Cubs Suck. You can’t hold any intelligent baseball discussion with a White Sox fan.

      • Doc Raker

        CAPS, why haven’t you mentioned this before?

      • AC0000000

        I thought I had mentioned before that I used to root for the trash

      • Wait I thought you went to Ohio State?

      • Doc Raker

        Some people who have a low self worth get upset to see a rival surpass them, envy, jealousy and or a feeling of insecurity for themselves can all be a part of it. You see it in immature people and under-educated people. On the west coast we see it with some Dodger fans, Raider fans and LA Kings fans. When the LA Kings play the Ducks it is very obvious who the obnoxious fans are and who the fans are of good sportsmanship. I never like to lose but respecting your opponent and offering up a ‘good game’ when my team loses goes a long way in understanding my teams performance does not give me my self worth. As a competitor you will never get better if you simply hate your rival, you need to give them respect and figure out how to beat them.

        When we went to game 4 of the NLCS in Dodger Stadium we came across many Dodger fans who were good sports and offered up congratulations after the Cubs victory but there were a few obvious poor sports in the stands that started fights and problems. It is sad when people lash out when they don’t get there way.

      • AC0000000

        Like that fan attack in 2011 that resulted in over 50M of medical care.

      • Buddy

        It’s been a while since I attended a Cubs/Sox inter-league game, but one year I did, and it was at Wrigley. While standing in a long bathroom line, there was one especially loud and obnoxious Sox fan who was running his mouth to anybody who would listen. Most people ignored him, and my friend and I certainly tried to for a while. Finally, we politely pointed out that there were dozens of us and one of him, and if he didn’t shut his mouth he would end up going head first into the crapper. That was pretty much the end of the discussion.

      • Apparently even a Sox fan knows what “head in the crapper” means.

  • Eddie Von White

    Ellen who?

    • Doug S.

      Couldn’t agree more.

  • Dork

    The Sox and the Cubs similar to the Mets and the Yankees, to me is very similar to a big brother/little brother relationship. The little brother always thinks he needs to one up the big brother and might resent success/revel in failure.

    • Eddie Von White

      Very insightful, Dork.

  • Seymour Butts

    The Red Sox were swindled. By themselves. Giving away the farm for a single pitcher is dangerous. Pitchers break down far more frequently than the hitters they are traded for.
    Reference the Addison Addition (tm pending). Who got the better of that deal?
    Not trading for Sale was Far better than the Cubs possibly doing so.

    Davis for Soler? Probably OK, But both had durability issues. Glad we did not give more for a year rental.

    • Doc Raker

      Andrew Cashner for Anthony Rizzo.

    • Adam Peters

      I’m good with this trade. Davis is a proven elite closer which is what we really needed. The forearm probably isn’t anything to worry about. Not like an elbow or shoulder.

      After watching Soler laze his way in after the ball Crisp hit in Game 3 I figured his days as a Cub were numbered. Not saying he could have caught it necessarily, but would it have killed him to break a trot?

      • Totally agree about the trot. I also wondered at the time why neither of the announcers mentioned it. Oh wait, it was Buck and it benefitted the other team. How silly of me.

      • AC0000000

        Len: They’re going to score that a hit for Crisp
        Pirates broadcasters: What in the world is Soler doing!? There was a game in July where Baez and Zobrist made a boneheaded play and they ripped both of them. Baez for holding it, and Zobrist as a veteran for not going to 3rd.

  • AC0000000

    As for the fact that the White Sox said get bent to the Cubs, that is not true. The trash’s front office said in the papers they wound entertain a deal from the Cubs if they called. I’m glad we don’t have that jersey cutter on our team. Another trade the 2 teams made was in 2007 we traded them David Aardsma and some minor league player for Neal Cotts. Originally, I said the trash won it because they got an extra player, but all 3 of them flamed out, so that deal was a wash.

  • Drinks on Lizzie!

  • AC0000000

    tFire Sale has begun on tSouth Side. tTrash traded Eaton to tNationals.