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Cubs handle first base void, add Michael Busch by way of commerce with Dodgers — Keith Regulation

Deal details: Cubs acquire UT Michael Busch and RHP Yency Almonte from the Dodgers for LHP Jackson Ferris and OF Zhyir Hope It’s not often that we get prospect-for-prospect trades, but the Cubs and Dodgers lined up for one, as the Cubs add Michael Busch to address their first base vortex of awful and a

Cubs handle first base void, add Michael Busch by way of commerce with Dodgers — Keith Regulation

Deal particulars: Cubs purchase UT Michael Busch and RHP Yency Almonte from the Dodgers for LHP Jackson Ferris and OF Zhyir Hope

It’s not typically that we get prospect-for-prospect trades, however the Cubs and Dodgers lined up for one, because the Cubs add Michael Busch to deal with their first base vortex of terrible and a hard-throwing reliever in Yency Almonte in trade for a projectable lefty prospect in Jackson Ferris and a just-drafted teenaged outfielder in Zyhir Hope.

Busch has been on my preseason top-100 prospect rankings for the final three offseasons, coming in at No. 74 final winter, and can in all probability make it one final time this 12 months as he’s at precisely 45 days on the energetic roster, that means he’ll lose his rookie eligibility with only one extra day within the majors. He’s a complicated hitter who’s hit for energy with laborious contact for 3 straight years in Double A and Triple A. That’s include 79 homers during the last three seasons, though I anticipate him to be extra of a excessive doubles, 18-22 homers man within the majors. In his transient stint with the Dodgers final 12 months, he put the ball on the bottom too typically, and his swing is rather more geared towards low line drives than huge fly balls.

He’s a pure first baseman and virtually definitely performs there for the Cubs, with expertise at second and third base, significantly better on the keystone than the recent nook. He additionally helps the Cubs get extra left-handed thump, as their lineup was very right-handed. He additionally has hit southpaws properly sufficient to mission as an on a regular basis participant; aside from swap hitter Ian Happ, the Cubs didn’t have a particular left-handed bat for his or her opening-day lineup except Pete Crow-Armstrong had been to win the center-field job.

Cubs’ first basemen hit an mixture .241/.299/.414 final 12 months, rating twenty seventh amongst MLB groups in first base OBP and twenty second in complete batting runs from the place, because the Cubs tried Matt Mervis, Patrick Wisdom, Eric Hosmer and extra to fill the outlet. Busch ought to fill that want and provides them 2 WAR or so of manufacturing, with robust protection at first and the capability to again up Nico Hoerner at second.

Almonte has a profession 4.51 ERA in 207 1/3 major-league innings. (Jeff Chiu / Related Press)

There are plenty of right-handed relievers in baseball, and Yency Almonte is one among them. He’s acquired a possible out-pitch in his slider however gave up a ton of laborious contact final 12 months and has at all times had points with left-handed batters (.358 profession OBP towards, .421 final 12 months), with a few good seasons on his major-league resume and as many ungood ones.

Lefty Jackson Ferris was the Cubs’ second-round choose in 2022 and made his professional debut final 12 months as a 19-year-old in Low A, posting a 3.38 ERA in 56 innings in a pitcher-friendly setting at Myrtle Seashore with a 32 p.c strikeout price, 14 p.c stroll price and 15 wild pitches. He’s a four-pitch man who’s as much as 95 mph with a plus slider, needing to work on the changeup extra typically to maintain right-handers in examine. General, his principal situation is repeating his supply for higher strike-throwing and sturdiness. He can overextend within the again and see his arm slot drift upward, inflicting timing issues out entrance, which is able to solely worsen as he’s stretched to greater than three innings per outing. He’s a powerful athlete with an important pitcher’s construct and has the weapons to be a mid-rotation starter, with plenty of reliever threat as a result of current command/management.

Zyhir Hope was the Cubs’ Eleventh-round choose in 2023, an outstanding athlete and plus runner who would do a backflip on the sphere earlier than each highschool sport, Ozzie Smith-style, however who confronted no high quality pitching as an beginner, resulting in considerations about how lengthy he’d take to be able to face full-season pitching. To his credit score, he performed very properly in his transient professional debut within the Arizona Complicated League, with a .286/.419/.543 line in 43 plate appearances, though he nonetheless struck out 30 p.c of the time and it’s a minuscule pattern that shouldn’t change what we knew about him from previous to the draft. The Dodgers love athletic gamers and have an incredible monitor document in serving to them make changes, so I can see what they may like right here although Ferris is the principle return within the deal, whereas additionally they clear two 40-man spots and cash-in on Busch, who was blocked at first and second by a pair of MVP candidates.

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(High picture of Michael Busch: Charles LeClaire / USA Right now)

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