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Cubs trade rumors: Chicago tried to acquire Drew Pomeranz in flip scenario

Ah, the blockbuster trades that might have been.

MLB: San Diego Padres at Chicago Cubs Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Besides watching teams blow themselves up or add assets to become unstoppable, one of the joys of the trade deadline is the deals that fail to form. They allow us the chance to wonder what teams look like in a world we will never see. But fortunately, we have Ken Rosenthal, who now and then gives us a glimpse into what that world might look like.

For instance, Rosenthal is saying that it was the Cubs who originally tried to acquire Drew Pomeranz from the Padres... but not how you’d think.

The Cubs’ plan, though, wasn’t to keep Pomeranz, who is under club control through 2018. No, the Cubs wanted to spin Pomeranz for a starter who is under even longer team control.

Naturally, steam started shooting out of Rosenthal’s ears and he sent his minions into the baseball underworld to find out who the pitcher in question was.

Alas,

I could not determine the identity of that starter — it was a pitcher whose “name is not out there (publicly), and probably is not going anywhere now,” one source said.

This one is just going to stay a mystery, I suppose.

The Padres, to their credit, had looked at the Cubs’ vast arsenal of hitters and fielders and selected Javier Baez as the price for Pomeranz (who was later dealt for a Single-A pitcher to the Red Sox). Chicago, probably in the right move, felt Baez was way too high of a price and aborted their plans.

But clearly, the Cubs aren’t afraid of adding even more pitching, and would love to make it a long term situation. With a rotation that includes Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jake Arrieta, and a surging Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs may not have wanted someone who would be plugged in immediately, but were rather planning for the future.

In the mean time, the Cubs aren’t saying anything.