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After the 4th of July game the Cubs were 11.5 back and had a 38-46 record they then trade their best pitchers and go into a tailspin before calling up the prospects. They went 7-16 in July after the 4th. The Cubs could very well be around .500 right now and around 3 to 4 games back from the 2nd wild card spot.
The point is that the Cubs had options in their farm system already that could improve the team by a significant amount this season. Sure some of it was unknown and it is reasonable to keep some players down until the probabilities swing in your favor but the Cubs built a wretched team on purpose for this season, cast off the quality pitchers they did have, and then punted the rest of the season even though they had the potential to be rather good from here on out.
Switch out Jackson for Hendricks and you probably got 4 extra wins right there. Giving Alacantara, Baez, Bryant, and Soler at bats over Barney, Valbuena, Schierholtz, and Lake is probably worth a win or two as well at least. Not raising the white flag and trading off your two best pitchers probably adds a game or two just by keeping morale up instead of having the team enter into a tailspin immediately afterwards. Heck trading away either Hammel or Wood and calling up Wade for either one of them would probably be worth a win or two as well.
Cubs fans are McCoy is the new Mets fans?
The lesson here is not to sign players to 500 year long contracts, I guess.
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