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We all know the Cubs were built into a World Series contender through a farm system rejuvenated by high draft picks resulting from three seasons of tanking, right? Wrong.
Let's take a look at the team's 25-man roster and how they all came to be Cubs.
Miguel Montero: TRADE
David Ross: FREE AGENT
Anthony Rizzo: TRADE
Ben Zobrist: FREE AGENT
Addison Russell: TRADE
Kris Bryant: DRAFT (Theo Epstein)
Tommy La Stella: TRADE
Javy Baez: DRAFT (Jim Hendry)
Jorge Soler: FREE AGENT (International)
Dexter Fowler: TRADE & FREE AGENT
Jason Heyward: FREE AGENT
Matt Szczur: DRAFT (Hendry)
If you wanted to include Kyle Schwarber, yes, he was drafted by Theo.
Jake Arrieta: TRADE
Jon Lester: FREE AGENT
John Lackey: FREE AGENT
Jason Hammel: FREE AGENT (Twice)
Kyle Hendricks: TRADE
Hector Rondon: RULE 5 (from Cleveland)
Pedro Strop: TRADE
Justin Grimm: TRADE
Neil Ramirez: TRADE
Travis Wood: TRADE
Trevor Cahill: FREE AGENT (Twice)
Clayton Richard: PURCHASED (from Pittsburgh)
Adam Warren: TRADE
Now you may be thinking that Theo used some of his hot draft picks in those trades. Nope. Let's review.
Montero: Acquired from Arizona for Jeferson Mejia (a Theo free agent signed out of the Dominican) and Zack Godley (a Theo 10th-round draft pick).
Rizzo: Acquired from San Diego for Hendry draft pick Andrew Cashner.
Russell: Acquired from Oakland with Billy McKinney and Dan Straily for Jason Hammell (free agent) and Jeff Samardzija (Hendry draft pick). Straily was later dealt with Luis Valbuena to Houston for Dexter Fowler. Valbuena became a Cub when Theo plucked him off waivers from Toronto.
La Stella: Acquired from Atlanta for Arodys Vizcaino. Vizcaino was originally acquired from Atlanta with Jaye Chapman for Reed Johnson (a Hendry free agent), Paul Maholm (a Theo free agent) and cash.
Arrieta: Acquired from Baltimore with Pedro Strop for Scott Feldman (a Theo free agent) and Steve Clevenger (a Hendry draft pick).
Hendricks: Acquired from Texas with Christian Villanueva for Ryan Dempster (a Hendry free agent).
Grimm and Ramirez: Acquired from Texas with Carl Edwards and Mike Olt for Matt Garza (acquired in a Hendry trade).
Wood: Acquired from Cincinnati with Dave Sappelt and Ronald Torreyes for Sean Marshall (a Hendry draft pick).
Warren: Acquired from the Yankees with Brendan Ryan for Starlin Castro (a Hendry draft pick).
So how did Theo really build the Cubs? Relentless flipping.
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