Monday, November 7, 2016

The Honeymoon Period

We Chicago baseball fans are still basking in the glow of the Cubs World Series triumph.  I mean, after 108 years, we will probably be celebrating this "once in a few lifetimes" achievement right on through Spring Training and into Opening Day.  I think our fan-base deserves a nice, long honeymoon period.

However, if you work in the front office, there's no such thing as a honeymoon period - after the last out was recorded in Game 7, it was right back to work for Theo's crew.  Hell, they even made a waiver claim that very same morning.

Immediately after the last bit of confetti fell at the massive victory parade on Friday, the transaction wire was already beginning to light up for the Cubs.  While everyone who played a role in this year's goat-busting squad will be able to drink for free in the Windy City for life, they definitely won't be playing here for life.  A recent trade package from Dimebox Nick reminded me of this fact, late last week.

Trevor Cahill luckily got his first card as a Cub in Update this October, an increasingly rare occurrence for a middle reliever in this day and age.  It was just in time too, seeing as Cahill was one of seven Cubs to file for free agency after the conclusion of the World Series, along with Aroldis Chapman, Joe Smith, Chris Coghlan, Munenori Kawasaki, Travis Wood and David Ross.  Not to mention, options were declined by Dexter Fowler and Jason Hammel as well.

Some of these men will stay, some will move on to the next challenge; but, at least, I was able to add a card of Cahill in the proper uniform before it was (possibly) too late.  Thanks, Nick!

Cahill was accompanied by a nice assortment of the 2016 World Series Champions from Update.

Despite the mini-exodus, the Cubs have plenty of talent and most of their key personnel under contract for 2017, including oft-used late inning relievers Justin Grimm and Pedro Strop.  Again, it's nice to see the relief corps getting some love in Update for once.

One might say, the future is anything but "Grimm."

Of course, their young core is certainly not going anywhere either.  Kris Bryant is already running out of room in his trophy case, just barely at the end of his sophomore season (MVP?) and Albert Almora, after a promising debut, will likely be the first in line to succeed Dexter Fowler in center field.  

Also, let me just say, any Kris Bryant insert I get in a trade package makes me giddy, seeing as the hometown markup on this budding superstar is ridiculous.  Furthermore, pre-rookie cards of MLB players are always a welcome sight too.  Nick knows my collecting habits pretty well, at this point.

Although, not all the young talent will be sticking around either.

Jeimer Candelario had himself a quick cuppacoffee this summer when the injury bug hit the Cubs roster; not quite long enough to make any judgement on the kid.   However, the top prospect had another promising season in the high-minors and is currently blocked across the infield by a high-caliber group of youngsters.  I don't think it's a stretch to predict he'll be dangled as trade-bait this off-season.  I highly doubt that Jeimer is a Cub by Opening Day.

That said, I'll gladly take his rookie card for my CATRC binder.

Along with the Update (and Stars & Stripes), Nick also included some Allen & Ginter, both featuring guys who will be returning to the Second City in 2017.

I only busted a single pack of the super-throwback product this summer, so both of these were new to me.  I'm generally pretty indifferent when it comes to A&G; however, this year's design is colorful, simple and sharp - I like it.

Speaking of sharp, here's hoping Rondon and Lackey are a little more so in 2017.  Both of these men faltered down the stretch this past season and lost the trust of manager Joe Maddon.  With the departure of Chapman and Hammel, both of these men will definitely be heavily leaned on in the coming season.


The rest of Nick's package was made up of guys who have long-since departed Chicago.

We've got nice Heritage insert of the eternally frustrating Mark Prior, a beloved Topps Total single featuring quad-A type starter Sergio Mitre and a couple of Bowmans of former top prospects Kevin Orie and Brooks Kieschnick, the latter of which is a shiny gold parallel.

Players come and players go, but the cards will always remain.

We wrap up Nick's PWE with a seemingly normal 2011 base card of former Cubs starter Randy Wells, who sopped up some quality innings in the lean years.   However, though it's kind of dark in this scan, you might notice that the Topps logo on this particular card is the retro, umbrella style mark instead it'd modern day equivalent.

You know what that means, this is a retro-parallel printed on vintage card stock, i.e. that of Heritage.  This becomes readily apparent when you flip it over (or physically handle it):

Brown cardboard, just like God intended.  This is my first such parallel from any year of Flagship and, I must say, these are rather cool in-hand.  There's no doubt that I'll be using this throwback to represent Randy in my CATRC binder.

With that, we've reached the end of yet another top-notch PWE from the dime box king - thanks Nick!

I've grown quite attached to the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs (still not tired of typing that out!) and it's going to be tough to see these guys filter out of the Windy City.  Mostly so anyway - don't let the door hit you on the way out, Chapman!  But, baseball is a business and a constantly changing on at that.  At least the Blackhawks and their seemingly constant, salary-cap necessitated rebuild has trained me to say goodbye to title-winning players.

While we fans are still on a honeymoon, time still marches on like an army of steamrollers.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, two trade posts with cards from me in one day (along w/ Adam of "Cardboard Clubhouse")! I must be in heaven!

    I'm still nursing a headache and a fair case of exhaustion trying to recover from that Game 7. Best baseball game I've ever seen, but boy oh boy did it take a lot out of me.

    Happy I could pass the Cahill along to you. I've had pretty good luck pulling Kris Bryant from packs I buy (thanks Cardboard Gods!) and, believe it or not, I pulled two of that Flagship insert. The Wells was sitting in a big bin of outcast doubles for at least a couple years before I recently realized it was a Target throwback and could probably find a better home than the one I was giving it. Glad you enjoyed everything!