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Cubs Acquire Tommy La Stella From Braves For Arodys Vizcaino

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The righthanded reliever heads back whence he came.

Jonathan Daniel

For those of you hoping to see Arodys Vizcaino in the Cubs bullpen in 2014, it won't be happening, as he's been traded to the Braves for Tommy La Stella. There's actually more -- here's the entire deal, via press release from the Cubs:

The Chicago Cubs today acquired infielder Tommy La Stella from the Atlanta Braves, as well as Atlanta’s number four international signing bonus slot, for right-handed pitcher Arodys Vizcaino and three international signing bonus slots (slot numbers two, three and four).

So this is really about international signing slots; I know many of you keep up more with this than I do, so I hope you can post more about the impact of giving up three slots and getting one back.

La Stella was the Braves' eighth-round pick out of Coastal Carolina University in 2011. He's a second baseman who hit .251/.328/.317 in 360 plate appearances for Atlanta in 2014, showing decent plate discipline (36 walks) without striking out much. He took over second base for the Braves after Dan Uggla was let go.

A lefthanded hitter, La Stella hit quite well in the Braves' system: .322/.407/.474 in 1,103 plate appearances from 2011 through 2014. He's never played a defensive position other than second base but it would appear the Cubs might see him as a backup who's a better hitter than Logan Watkins, or insurance at second base if Javier Baez can't fix his strikeout issues.

Vizcaino spent almost three years trying to come back from Tommy John surgery; he wound up pitching five innings for the Cubs in September after posting a 3.51 ERA and 1.366 WHIP at three minor-league levels in the system in 2014, with 42 strikeouts in 41 innings.

That leaves La Stella as the Cubs' only return from the deal that sent Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson to the Braves in July 2012.

With this trade, the Cubs' 40-man roster remains at 38.