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What new Cubs GM Hawkins thought of 'smart' 2021 selloff originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
But for as much as that trade had franchise-altering ramifications for Cleveland, Hawkins and that same front office experienced a similar type of shock factor as many in Chicago did back in July.
"It's rare that you'll be sitting in your war room during the trade deadline and a new trade will come across the ticker and everybody goes, ‘Oh my gosh,'" Hawkins said Monday.
"That happened a couple of times with what the Cubs were able to do."
The Cubs, who introduced Hawkins as the 16th general manager in franchise history Monday, broke up their All-Star core in a flurry of deals at the July 30 deadline this past summer.
But unlike Cleveland, that entailed the Cubs trading three members of their All-Star and 2016 World Series core. Team president Jed Hoyer dealt Kris Bryant, Javy Báez and Anthony Rizzo, among others, in the hours, days and weeks leading up to the deadline.
The Cubs largely received prospects in return in those flurry of trades, as well as young players Nick Madrigal and Codi Heuer from the White Sox in exchange for closer Craig Kimbrel.
"I have no idea what it'd be like to be in Jed shoes doing what he did, and what he did with his group," Hawkins said. "But I do know that from our perspective with Cleveland, we felt like it was the smart move and thought that the returns were really, really excellent."
If anybody in the game knows the difference, it might be him. Hawkins was a key figure in a Cleveland front office known for developing homegrown talent.
Perhaps some of those prospects will be part of the Cubs' next contending team.
"To move franchise icons like that is difficult," Hawkins said. "But I think it shows the dedication that the team had to bringing winning baseball here quickly."
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