The Boys Are Back In Town

Two champs and an old friend stroll into Wrigley for a weekend against the Cubs.

Arturro Padavilla III/ via

The New York Yankees come to town for a series against the Cubs on Friday and they stroll in with some familiar faces. The Cubs announced today that they will have a ceremony before the game on Friday afternoon to give World Series rings to Adam Warren, who was traded at the trade deadline last year, and all-star closer Aroldis Chapman. There will also be a video montage as a tribute to Starlin Castro as he returns to Wrigley Field for the first time since being traded during last offseason.

Adam Warren was acquired by the Cubs during last offseason for Starlin Castro as a move to primarily unload Starlin Castro’s salary to make room for Ben Zobrist. Warren struggled to find a role with the Cubs as he pitched out of the bullpen and several spot starts to a 3–2 record with a 5.91 ERA in 35 innings. He was eventually traded back to the Yankees in a package that sent Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs for their postseason run.

Aroldis Chapman deals a pitch in the 2016 World Series (Via Flickr)

Aroldis Chapman was acquired at the deadline for one thing. October. The Cubs had a good bullpen but Theo and company went all-in to get a stopper at the back end of the bullpen to go with Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon. Chapman was Joe Maddon’s work horse throughout the postseason, using him in all 4 games in the NLDS, 4 games in the NLCS, and 5 games in the World Series. Maddon’s lack of trust of the rest of his bullpen forced him to bring Chapman in for multiple innings on several occasions and that came back to burn him in Game 7 when Rajai Davis took him deep to tie the game in the 8th. Despite blowing the lead, there is no doubt that the Cubs don’t win the World Series without the left arm of Aroldis Chapman. Chapman eventually went back to the Yankees in free agency, inking a 5 year deal worth 85 million.

Starlin Castro is all smiles during warm ups at Wrigley Field. (Via Flickr)

Starlin Castro will have the opportunity of lacing up the cleats at Wrigley Field once again but this time as a visitor. The Cubs former 3-time all-star shortstop was traded at the beginning of the offseason to clear money and roster space for the Cubs to sign Ben Zobrist. Starlin burst onto the scene with a HR and 6 RBI in his MLB debut in 2010 and instantly became a fan favorite. For several seasons, Castro was considered the future of the Cubs and was one of the only mainstays throughout the rebuild alongside Anthony Rizzo and Travis Wood. However, he still displayed signs of being prone to mental mistakes and was eventually moved to 2B at the end of 2015 and into the postseason. The emergence of Addison Russell and Javier Baez made Castro expendable and ultimately lead to the trade that sent him out of town. Castro had a slash line of .281/ .321/ .404 in his 6 seasons with the Cubs to go alone with 62 HR and 363 RBI. Castro was adored by fans for his 2015 walk up song “Ando en la Versace” and the Wrigley faithful will get to acknowledge him by it one final time.

The Cubs will send Kyle Hendricks to the mound against Michael Pineda. The game will be televised on CSN Chicago with pregame starting at 12:30 and the radio broadcast will air on 670 The Score.

Stephen Sciaraffa is currently a student at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. Born in Chicago, Stephen spends his free time following the Cubs and taking in games at beautiful Wrigley Field with his dad. You can add him on twitter here.