As most of you know, I’d been banging the drum for the Cubs to trade for Jeimer Candelario for more than a month before the deal finally happened Monday afternoon.
This is a very good trade for the Cubs. They acquire a player who can play a good third base, perhaps first base on occasion, hit for power, and if he’s good enough and they want to keep him, could probably have him for a couple more years at a fairly reasonable cost. The cost in prospects was, in my view, not high: DJ Herz and Kevin Made have talent, but both are fairly far from the big leagues and there’s a chance neither will ever play in MLB.
About the Cubs’ other deal, acquiring Jose Cuas from the Royals for Nelson Velázquez: Meh. Cuas is a funky-motion sidearmer with middling results this year. He’s likely headed for Triple-A Iowa as bullpen depth. I don’t see anyone I’d take off the current 26-man roster for him.
As for who is removed from the active roster for Candelario — I’m guessing it’d be Patrick Wisdom, who seems superfluous with this acquisition. Wisdom does have options, so the Cubs could send him to Iowa for a month and bring him back as a bench player when rosters expand by two in September. Or, perhaps, Wisdom gets included in a trade before today’s deadline.
I’d expect Candelario to play third base nearly every day, perhaps first base against certain lefthanders, and Nick Madrigal moves to primary backup infielder, playing some third base, some second base, and maybe DH from time to time.
The Cubs clearly still need some bullpen help, particularly of the lefthanded variety. I’d expect them to go after one of those today, and the Rockies are a team they could talk to. Both Brad Hand and Brent Suter, lefty relievers, are likely available. Either would be a good addition to the Cubs pen, and Suter, in particular, used to be very tough on the Cubs all those years he pitched in Milwaukee.
The trade deadline is 5 p.m. CT today. As is usually the case, that doesn’t mean we’ll stop hearing about deals precisely at 5; news of trades can dribble out for about the next 30 to 60 minutes after that. Personally, I’d love to see MLB have a scheduled off day for all teams on trade deadline day and get the entire sport focused just on deals for that one day. The current CBA allows the Commissioner’s office to schedule the trade deadline each year on any day from July 30 to August 3. My guess is that in 2024, the deadline will be Thursday, August 1, a day on which only six games are scheduled (including the Cardinals visiting Wrigley Field). Perhaps in the future, they’ll take up my idea of making deadline day a league-wide off day.
This is an open thread for trade discussion. If the Cubs do make another deal, of course we’ll cover it separately on the front page.