Cleat Geeks

Wrigley Weekly Wrap-up


ChapmanICYMI: The Cubs acquired Aroldis Chapman from the Yankees last Monday in exchange for four players: pitcher Adam Warren and prospects Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford. Torres, a 19-year-old shortstop, was the top-ranked prospect in the team’s system and ranks 24th in baseball according to MLB Pipeline. Chapman has the highest strikeout rate per nine innings in baseball and I’m sure you know he can throw a 105 MPH fastball. The Cubs hope to have secured a trip to the World Series by adding him. His past isn’t pretty though. Chapman began this season serving a 30-game suspension for violating the Major League Baseball domestic violence policy. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts made sure to address the issue and in a statement said that he, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer all talked to Chapman before the deal was finalized. Adam Warren rejoins the Yankees, who dealt him to Chicago for Starlin Castro last December. Torres batted .275 in 94 games with Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach. McKinney was the Athletics’ first-round pick in the 2013 Draft, and he was dealt to the Cubs as part of the July 2014 deal that sent Jeff Samardzija to Oakland. Ranked fifth among the Cubs’ top prospects, he was batting .252 at Double-A Tennessee. Crawford, an 11th-round pick in 2012, was batting .255 in 83 games at Myrtle Beach.

Roster Moves: On Friday the Cubs activated Chris Coghlan from the disabled list and optioned infielder Tommy La Stella to Triple-A Iowa. Coghlan was on the disabled list since July 3rd with a right rib cage strain. La Stella was batting .295 with nine doubles and two home runs in 51 games with the Cubs. The demotion had nothing to do with his performance, Coghlan was ready to come back and La Stella had an option. The ‪Cubs on Sunday selected the contract of left-handed pitcher Brian Matusz from ‪Triple-A Iowa. Right-hander Justin Grimm was optioned to Triple-A. Matusz made a spot start on Sunday night to give the starters a breather and push their starts back.


The Trade Deadline is at 3 p.m. CT on Monday and the Cubs are most likely done dealing. Instead they’ll be looking at getting players healthy. “There’s nothing going on as far as I know — crickets,” Joe Maddon said on Sunday before the night game. The Cubs have reinforcements coming in Trevor Cahill and Jorge Soler, who are both rehabbing in the minors. Cahill (patellar tendinitis in right knee) was starting for Triple-A Iowa, while Soler (left hamstring strain) was playing for Double-A Tennessee. Also the recently optioned Tommy La Stella and Justin Grimm, both could be key additions later this season.

But as it turns out, the Cubs were not done dealing. Today, The Cubs acquired reliever Joe Smith from the Angels and the Halos will receive minor league pitcher Jesus Castillo from the Cubs. Smith, a 32-year-old righty, has been OK this year.  The veteran has a 3.82 ERA, 6.0 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 0.96 HR/9, and 54.8% groundball rate in 37 2/3 innings, missing most of June due to a hamstring strain.  Smith has about $1.8MM remaining on his contract, after which he’ll be eligible for free agency.  He signed a three-year, $15.75MM deal with the Angels in November 2013 after a long, successful run with the Indians. Castillo, 20, has posted a 3.27 ERA in seven starts for the Cubs’ Low-A affiliate this year.  The Cubs previously acquired Castillo from the Diamonbacks in the February 2013 Tony Campana trade.

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