NEW YORK -- The thought was presented to Adam Warren, one day after the math no longer added up for the Yankees in postseason chase. Should things break right this October, he still might wind up with a World Series ring, having spent the season's first four months with the Cubs.
That possibility remains alive as the Cubs have advanced to the National League Championship Series (Game 1, Saturday at Wrigley Field on FOX/FS1; game time TBD), defeating the Giants in stunning fashion on Tuesday night. The Cubs now await the winner of the Dodgers/Nationals NL Division Series as they seek their first World Series championship since 1908.
"It's crossed my mind, just because I was there. But more than anything, knowing all those guys -- you want to root for them," Warren said. "A lot of them are my friends, and I got to know a lot of them really well. It'll be fun just to sit back and root for them and see how they do. I think, how complete their team is, they have a really good shot at doing this."
Warren, 29, began the year with the Cubs after being traded with a player to be named (infielder Brendan Ryan) on Dec. 8, 2015, in exchange for second baseman Starlin Castro. He made 28 relief appearances and one start for the Cubs, going 3-2 with a 5.91 ERA in 35 innings.
The right-hander was traded back to the Yankees on July 25, along with Minor League prospects Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford in a blockbuster deal for closer Aroldis Chapman. Torres is rated as the Yankees' No. 2 prospect by MLBPipeline.com, with McKinney ranked No. 15.
Though the Cubs were on their way to running away with the NL Central, Warren said that he was excited to be coming back "home." Picking up regular work from manager Joe Girardi, Warren went 4-2 with a 3.26 ERA in 29 appearances for the Yankees, spanning 30 1/3 innings.
"I loved it over there with the coaching staff and everything; it was just coming back here, I was coming back to a pitching coach [Larry Rothschild] that knew me, a team that knew me, a manager and really just kind of sliding back into a role I was comfortable with," Warren said. "I knew what situation I was going to pitch in and get regular work.
"The starters there were tearing it up, so the bullpen wasn't really getting worked a whole lot in Chicago. I'm more of a guy that needs to be on the mound a consistent amount. I think that's maybe part of the reason my mechanics got off a little bit."
After the season, Warren returned home to Florida, where he and his wife Kristen are expecting their first child next month.
Warren said he did stash away a few of the funny T-shirts that Cubs manager Joe Maddon handed out during the year, and those might just see daylight now that his former teammates sit eight wins away from a title.
"I never really watch a whole lot of the playoffs, because you wish you were there and it leaves kind of a sour taste in your mouth," Warren said. "It's a long year, so once you're eliminated, you're kind of tired of baseball. But I'll probably watch more than I normally do, because I did play with those guys."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.