On Thursday, two baseball teams made a great trade. They also reinforced a couple great lessons for the metalcasting industry.There had always been a belief the Chicago White Sox would never trade with the crosstown-rival Cubs. The Sox, now more than ever, are viewed to be the second team in Chicago and it was thought their ownership wouldn’t allow them to trade with the Cubs in fear of maybe losing a deal and alienating their fans. If true, that line of thinking would have reflected incredibly poorly on the Sox. Last year, they initiated a rebuilding plan by trading away star pitcher Chris Sale and cost-controlled and productive outfielder Adam Eaton for many top prospects. After those deals, the Sox were ahead of the game in their rebuild but had one major chip left: a 28-year-old left-handed starting pitcher named Jose Quintana, whose contract doesn’t expire until after the 2020 season.The Cubs, as you probably know, won the 2016 World Series and are in a different place than the Sox. They want to win again and think they can. Though well-built and stocked with hitters, the organization’s biggest flaw was a lack of starting pitching, leading many to believe the Cubs and Sox would be a great match for a Quintana deal if not for the Sox’s unwillingness to trade with the other team in their town.So much for that. The teams got together Thursday on a five-player trade that sent Quintana to the Cubs and four prospects to the Sox, including a power-hitter named Eloy Jimenez who helps address a shortage of power in their minor-league system. The Cubs have a huge piece of their team through 2020, while the Sox took another step forward to contention.What, then, does this have to do with metalcasting? Plenty.As the Chicago teams showed, it doesn’t matter where a solution comes from, as long as it’s the right solution. Say your company needs a new binding system but there’s some kind of trivial and perceived hang-up with the only firm that has what you’re looking for. Who does it help if you keep looking, even if the right answer is at a company you haven’t done business with in years? Nobody.Also, if your business needs help, your clients probably won’t care where it comes from as long as it actually helps everybody. A quick check of Twitter and sports radio reveals how ecstatic Sox fans are about this trade, proving the conventional wisdom wrong. Like a baseball team with its fans, your clients, knowing you’ve improved your processes and future outlook, will feel the same way.On Thursday, the Sox and Cubs made each other better despite petty reasons people said they wouldn’t. If you can make your company better, do it. It doesn’t really matter who helps you.
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