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Cubs acquire RHP David Phelps from Blue Jays

Hey, look! The Cubs made a deal!

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

One day before the MLB trading deadline, the Cubs have acquired more major-league relief help:

David Phelps is 32 and in his seventh big-league season. This year, he has posted a 3.63 ERA and 1.212 WHIP in 17 appearances, with 18 strikeouts in 17⅓ innings. Previously, he pitched for the Yankees, Marlins and Mariners. He had Tommy John surgery right before the 2018 season and missed that entire season and didn’t pitch in the big leagues again until June 2019.

Phelps’ fastball velocity sits around 92, per Fangraphs, down from pre-surgery 94. He throws mostly cutters and curveballs.

Thomas Hatch was the Cubs’ first pick in the 2016 draft — in the third round, as they had lost their first two picks for signing Jason Heyward and John Lackey . He’s 24 and repeating Double-A this year, with numbers somewhat worse than they were in 2018.

This seems a reasonable prospect payment for someone like Phelps, who is owed about $600,000 for the rest of this year and has a $1 million team option (with escalators for appearances) for the 2020 season. I would assume that Phelps will replace Duane Underwood Jr. (who was recalled to the big leagues Tuesday) when he arrives.

UPDATE: The Cubs have moved Xavier Cedeno to the 60-day injured list to make room for Phelps on the 40-man roster.


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