Sometimes, people wonder where I get my silly trade proposal ideas from. I certainly don't wait for "cited sources". Sometimes, the names sound randomly generated. Normally they have little if any MLB experience. I'm at it again. The Cubs should try to acquire recently-designated catcher Nick Dini.
Yeah, I saw your eyes roll. If the Cubs are to add a Royals option, I should be agog over Whit Merrifield. The hiccup with adding a player who is already known, is that the awareness comes with a price, in cash or considerations. Dini would come very inexpensively.
I have four reasons Dini makes sense. For a waiver-wire type addition, any two would be plenty. I have four, three of which are baseball-valid. The first is that Iowa Cubs announcer Alex Cohen says he's worth a chance. When I heard him described ("A catcher that pitchers love to throw to", "Great in the clubhouse", "Hits well enough to start 50 games a year"), I was fascinated.
He was KC’s 14th-round choice from Wagner College (Staten Island, New York) in 2015. He was summoned late in 2019, had a positive bWAR, and would figure to have at least two option seasons remaining. A team almost always needs three catchers, at least.
Among the chatter this off-season is (possibly) trading Victor Caratini or Willson Contreras. I was allergic to the idea without a valid third option. If Dini is added, he could clear the way for a "trade from strength" swap, or could get housed in Des Moines, as needed.
I think that's two reasons. The third is the Cubs and Royals trade well. The Cubs sent Donnie Dewees to the Royals for Alec Mills, and brought back Dewees for pitcher Stephen Ridings. As Ridings hasn't pitched an inning in full-season ball still, the Cubs and Royals have different shopping lists. A reliever from the 2019 Midwest League champs might get it done.
Dini has a low acquisition cost, moderate upside, comes with a solid reference or two, and could make a valid trade easier. The final reason is purely music/writing based. From Wagner College, he's a headline goldmine.
Walk-off homer? Götterdämmerung. Scores on a mad dash from first? Flight of the Valkyrie. Bad puns on top of an interesting player? How fun? And, no. I don't really want it to go to the waiver wire. Find an acceptable 2018 or 2019 minor piece, and do what's needed. If he works, the Cubs have a useful piece for years. If not, he gets DFA'd, like Kansas City did. Trades are about improvement. Dini may well make the Cubs better at virtually no cost. I'm not seeing much of a downside.