Mychal Givens' focus on Cubs as MLB trade deadline looms

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Givens' focus on Cubs as trade deadline looms originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Mychal Givens is no stranger to what can happen at the MLB trade deadline.

During the shortened 60-game 2020 season, the Orioles dealt the veteran reliever to the Rockies. Last summer, Colorado traded him to the Reds.

So, what does Givens expect for himself this time around, as the Cubs sit 22 games under .500 less than two weeks until the deadline?

“I expect to be in a Cubs uniform,” Givens said during the Cubs' last homestand. “I signed here for a reason. I don't worry about the trade deadline or anything like that because that's not something I can control.

“I'm just happy here right now, every day being with the boys, coming into the ball field and building that relationship with them.

"Whatever happens, happens.”

With the Cubs heading toward another deadline selloff in the next 11 days, Givens — who signed a one-year deal over the offseason with a mutual option for 2023 — could be one of the game's more sought-after relievers.

The 32-year-old is third on the Cubs with 36 appearances and holds a 2.92 ERA and 1.297 WHIP in 37 innings, striking out 45 with 18 walks.

As the deadline looms, Givens is controlling what he can control.

“Controlling that I put on the Cubbies uniform and get called on and go try to win ballgames for the Cubbies right now,” he said.

“If I get traded, I'll put on that uniform and try to win ballgames for them. Right now, I’m not focused on the trade deadline or anything, all the rumors, anything like that.

“I'm focused on today and the next few days, whatever I need to do to win the ballgame.”

Givens took two tough-luck losses in both halves of Saturday’s doubleheader vs. the Mets. He became the first pitcher to lose multiple games on one day without allowing an earned run since 1913, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

He's been on quite a run in the Cubs’ bullpen over the last month-plus. Over his last 12 appearances, Givens hasn’t allowed an earned run, scattering nine hits and five walks in 13 2/3 innings with 14 strikeouts.

"Just having a routine and being consistent is the biggest thing in baseball," said Givens of what's been key to his groove. "It's hard to do.

"It’s trying to stay consistent, trying to pass the baton within our bullpen and keep on trying to win ballgames and keep us in ballgames as well."

Givens isn’t the only Cubs reliever teams could come calling for. Fellow veterans Chris Martin and David Robertson have playoff experience and have pitched well this season.

He's enjoyed the camaraderie of the group and being one of those veteran influences on a relief staff with up-and-coming arms like Scott Effross and Brandon Hughes.

“It’s been a great time with our bullpen,” Givens said. “We've been really dominant. We go through stretches, but that's the name of the game of baseball — dealing with failure.

“I think a lot of guys go through ups and downs," he added, "but we have a good veteran presence to teach the young guys how to get through it.”

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