The Cubs weren’t finished after acquiring third baseman Jeimer Candelario earlier. Just before game time, it was announced that the Cubs traded outfielder Nelson Velázquez to the Royals in exchange for right-handed reliever José Cuas.
Cuas was an 11th-round draft pick by the Brewers in 2015 out of Maryland as an infielder. But he didn’t hit and Milwaukee tried moving him to the mound in 2018. He was released by Milwaukee and ended up in independent ball (and driving for FedEx) where he was signed by the Diamondbacks in 2019.
Arizona released Cuas during the pandemic and he signed with the Royals in 2021. His career took off from there. He made his major league debut in 2022, throwing in 47 games and posting a 4-2 record with a 3.58 ERA and one save. This year, Cuas is 3-0 with a 4.54 ERA over 41.2 innings. He has struck out a whopping 52 batters, but he’s walked 21.
Cuas has a funky, low-arm slot delivery that you can see here.
Perhaps the moment we are most #thankful for, WINNING THE DOUBLE-A CENTRAL CHAMPIONSHIP!— Northwest Arkansas Naturals (@nwanaturals) November 26, 2021
Take a trip down memory lane and relive the final out, as Jose Cuas secured the strikeout to complete a series sweep of Wichita and bring home the Naturals' second league title! pic.twitter.com/m5nBnS8eAc
Here’s another video from 2022 that you can watch to learn more about José Cuas.
Going back to the Royals is outfielder Nelson Velázquez, whom you are likely familiar with. Velázquez was the Cubs’ 5th-round pick in 2017 and he made his major-league debut last year. He struggled, hitting .205/.286/.373, but he showed good power with six home runs.
Velázquez has spent most of this season in Triple-A Iowa, where he is hitting a healthy .253/.333/.469 with 16 home runs in 74 games. He also has had a couple of brief call-ups to the majors, where he is hitting .241/.313/.621 with three home runs in just 13 games.
Cuas is under team control through the 2029 season and won’t be eligible for arbitration until 2026, so this is not a rental pickup.
So let’s all welcome José Cuas to the Cubs.
José Cuas for Nelson Velázquez?
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