clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

BCB After Dark: Let’s make a deal

The late night cool spot for night owls, early-risers and Cubs fans abroad asks what was the best trade in Cubs history.

Chicago Cubs v New York Mets
Aramis Ramirez
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the swingin’ speakeasy for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. Good to see you again. Pull up a seat and relax. Be sure to tip your waitstaff.

BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.

Tonight’s game didn’t have a lot of action, but it ended up being a nail-biter in the end as we got a glimpse of the bad Kimbrel of 2019 and 2020. But the good Kimbrel showed up just in time and nailed down the save, so all’s good. As I’ve said before, anyone who wants to continue the conversation on tonight’s game is free to do so here.

Last time I asked you who was broadcasting Cubs games when you first started following the team. All I can say is that you people are old. Fully 51% of you remember the halcyon days of Jack Brickhouse. Another 40% of you became fans when Harry Caray was the lead broadcaster. So over 90% of you have been fans for over 20 years. Here’s where I admit that I’m one of those 51% who started by listening to Brickhouse.

Maybe that’s just the type of Cubs fan who is up in the middle of the night, going to the bathroom or something.

Tuesday night is the After Dark-lite night. Less filling but doesn’t taste as great. I’ll include a jazz number so you have something to listen to while reading, but there are no movies tonight. Just a Cubs question for debate at the end.

If you want to skip the jazz number, here’s where you jump to the bottom.

Last night I finally got around to tackling John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, which I mentioned intimidated me. It’s a challenging piece of music. At least it is to me. I hope you get a chance to listen to it.

But as I wrote in the comments, there are some more accessible pieces in the Coltrane oeuvre. And certainly his 1961 album My Favorite Things is much easier to get into. The Rogers and Hammerstein title track from The Sound of Music is the highlight.

The album is also remarkable because Coltrane plays a soprano saxophone instead of the tenor saxophone that he normally played. Joining Coltrane on this album are McCoy Tyner on piano and Elvin Jones on drums, both of whom also played on A Love Supreme. The bassist was Steve Davis.

So if you want to get into Coltrane, I’d really suggest you start here with My Favorite Things [Video] rather than on A Love Supreme.

Welcome back for the only-baseball lovers. With Jake Arrieta pitching so well tonight, it made me recall how Arrieta ended up on the Cubs in the first place. And of course, broadcasters have mentioned it a lot as one of the best Cubs trades in history.

So that’s what I’m going to ask tonight. What was the best Cubs trade in the expansion era? I’m using 1962 as the cutoff because trades made early in the century were different animals and I don’t want people to start comparing Mordecai Brown with Ferguson Jenkins.

Anyway, I have six candidates for the best Cubs trade in the expansion era. You can define “best” however you want, but I think these are six deals that pretty much every Cubs fan can point to as ones that made a huge positive difference. If you can think of a better one I forgot, please put it in the comments.

Since you all are so old, I don’t think I’m going to need to explain who these players are.

The trades are:

  1. April 21, 1966: Bob Buhl and Larry Jackson to the Phillies for Ferguson Jenkins, Adolfo Phillips and John Herrnstein.
  2. January 27, 1982. Ivan De Jesus to the Phillies for Ryne Sandberg and Larry Bowa.
  3. March 30, 1992. George Bell to the White Sox for Sammy Sosa and Ken Patterson.
  4. July 23, 2003. Jose Hernandez, Bobby Hill and Matt Bruback to the Pirates for Aramis Ramirez, Kenny Lofton and cash.
  5. November 25, 2003. Hee-Seop Choi and Mike Nannini to the Marlins for Derrek Lee.
  6. July 2, 2013. Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger to the Orioles for Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop.


What is the best Cubs trade of the expansion era?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Jenkins for Buhl and Jackson
    (28 votes)
  • 39%
    Sandberg and Bowa for De Jesus
    (89 votes)
  • 3%
    Sosa for Bell
    (7 votes)
  • 6%
    Ramirez and Lofton for Hernandez and Hill
    (15 votes)
  • 2%
    Lee for Choi
    (5 votes)
  • 35%
    Arrieta and Strop for Feldman and Clevenger
    (81 votes)
  • 0%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (2 votes)
227 votes total Vote Now

Toss your thoughts into the comments. Thanks for stopping by. I’ll see you again Wednesday night/Thursday morning.