Cubs Complete Furious Deadline Landing Castellanos and Wieck

The trade deadline came and went with the Cubs only adding Tony Kemp to the beleaguered second place club. After about twenty minutes news rolled in that the Cubs completed three separate deals right at the wire. Cubs OF prospect Jimmy Herron was dealt for international bonus money. The Cubs had spent virtually all of their bonus, and moving their third rounder from 2018 gives them an opportunity to acquire a few more late signings before the end of the period. The Rockies were willing to part with some of their pool for the contact oriented outfield prospect.

Here is what Michael had to say about the 23 year old switch hitter:

 2018 3rd rounder Jimmy Herron is a quality contact hitter with above average speed. A potential 4th outfielder who could sub in at the top of the order and provide some pinch running value, the biggest question with Herron has become his arm strength. His range in center and right field seemed adequate but I’m not sure his arm could carry him at either spot. If he struggles to profile in center he could end up stuck as AAA depth like Mark Zagunis and John Andreoli in recent seasons.

Carl Edwards Jr. was also shipped out to San Diego for tall left hander Brad Wieck. The big southpaw throws a 94 mph fastball that probably jumps at hitters coming out of his 6’9″ frame. The Cubs management had clearly lost faith in Carl Edwards given the extremely short leash he had upon his return. Wieck has two options remaining and it would seem likely that he will be stashed at Iowa until rosters expand or an injury creates an opening. Either way it is an interesting lefty the Cubs added and which saved them a few hundred thousand dollars.

All the various scrimping and saving for this deadline paid off as the Cubs announced the acquisition of Nick Castellanos after the deadline passed. The cost was in line with what free agent to be bats have been the past several deadlines. The Cubs parted with two pitching prospects and neither was named Adbert Alzolay or Brailyn Marquez. Alex Lange and Paul Richan were the cost to add a talented, 27 year old right handed bat to the lineup. To make room for Castellanos on the 40 man roster, Oscar de la Cruz was designated for assignment.

Castellanos has been having a solid but not spectacular season. He certainly did not build upon the breakout success he showed in 2018. The defensive challenged right fielder has seen a 25 point drop in batting average and on base percentage from the career high’s last year. His slugging has also declined by 38 points. Castellanos does not like to hit at his old home ballpark and the Cubs centerfield and power alleys are certainly far more friendly than the Tigers park.

So there is some hope that a move out of the cavernous Comerica might help boost Castellanos power, and the Cubs really are not counting on Castellanos to be a difference maker. The Cubs need a player who can help them crush lefties and deepen the lineup. Castellanos’ bat should do both of those things. Those numbers aren’t a surprise as many variations of this information is available.

So if Castellanos just remains what he has been this season as a monster lefty masher then it presents a huge upgrade to the lineup. And if you allow yourself to dream about short season matchups after last night’s game, then it is pretty easy to see the matchup problems Castellanos could create for the teams likely in their path. However, there is one set of numbers that I think has been largely ignored. And that is the RISP numbers. I have long argued that these are more often statistical noise than any indicator of skill, but if you believe there is a large component of skill to the statistic then Castellanos should be an exciting bat. His career slash line is .298/.363//503 in RISP situations.

Again if the goal was to completely remake the offense like the bullpen, then this deadline was a failure, but there was no legitimate way to completely revamp this lineup on the fly. Any legitimate leadoff hitter option was not truly available to the Cubs. But the Cubs nabbed several interesting players who made the edges of the roster better while saving what amounts to loose change to MLB teams. The Cubs were able to pile that loose change together to land Castellanos, and my guess is that is largely the reason why the deal came together now famously late.

 

The cost seems in line with bats with no team control beyond the season. The price has not been top tier prospects, but rather interesting projects for a team to take a chance on. Here is Michael’s evaluation of the two former high draft picks who were shipped out for Castellanos.

The Cubs dealt away a trio of high draft picks at the deadline.

The biggest name is 2017 1st round pick <strong>Alex Lange</strong>. A right hander out of LSU, Lange came with a long track record of success against top college competition and curve ball that many draft analysts viewed among the best in his class. His inconsistent command due to a violent delivery and the lack of a third pitch drew relief pitcher concerns from some circles at the time. Lange would develop a solid changeup in his first full season last year, but it was unfortunately teamed with a diminishing of his fastball as his velocity dipped into the high-80s for most the season. It would recover into the low-90s in 2019, but he has yet to develop the command necessary to succeed with such an average fastball. He may require another bump in velo from a move to the pen to carve out a MLB role at this point.

The biggest loss of the day is likely to 2018 supplemental 2nd rounder <strong>Paul Richan</strong>. The righty also features a 91-94 mph fastball, but already shows good glove side command of the pitch and the ability to move it up and down in the zone against both right and left-handed batters. His slider is a solid 2nd offering and his curve shows some flashes of being a usable 3rd. So far, his changeup has remained fringy. With a bit of refinement on his arm side command as well as the curve Richan could develop into a reliable back of the rotation starter at the big league level, and if not his fastball/slider combo should play well in the pen.

 

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  • Castellanos is a cheap attempt to solve this team’s issues. Doesn’t walk much but has some pop and hits lefties well. Weakens OF defense and for a team that doesn’t have a lot of Pitchers that miss bats, that won’t help.

    Stick him at #2 in the lineup and move KB back to 3rd where he likes to be and maybe with that protection he is even more effective.

    Theo didn’t give up much and was facing a 40 man roster crunch as had been discussed before.

    Have at it and see where it goes. Cards and Crew did little to help themselves and we have the better roster as well. We SHOULD win this division.

  • It will still come down to how well our big four swing the bat. They must improve their RISP and cut down on all the whiffs and out the ball in play. These were minor improvements at best that we wouldn’t have needed if we just hit the ball!

  • In reply to Squareburgers:

    Agreed, if players want to play, they need to produce; then the front office won't be looking for an upgrade or additional bat............

  • Jed Hoyer on Carl Edwards Jr. : "There's no other way to say it but we felt like it was time for a change of scenery." Yikes! I don't have any clue what happened behind the scenes, but it obviously wasn't good.

    And it is a good thing Brailyn Marquez wasn't shipped in any of these deals. He is following up his 6 IP, 14 K, 1 H masterpiece last outing with 4 perfect IP (and counting) and another 5 K tonight.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Nice.......

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    You jinxed him and he walked a guy barley lol, but perfect game still intact. Brennan Davis also just got another rbi single. Glad those 2 weren’t traded at times I don’t like trading these high upside A ball guys. With how good marquez and Davis are looking hard to feel like trading them now wouldn’t be selling low. Those guys are just getting better and better as the seasons gone on

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    *no hitter still intact

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I was afraid of that.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    What happened was he choked every time he was put in a big game situation this season. He definitely needed a change of scenery. I'll bet they tried to find a place for Russell for the same reason and had no takers.

  • Hate including Richan in the Castelllanos deal. I won’t hate it if we win the division and World Series. LOL.

  • In regard to obtaining N. Castellanos. The Cubs gave up two top 30 pitching prospects for a rental player. Now the Cubs have two below defensive players in the outfield. I think the Cubs gave up way too much in this deal. If the Cubs could have gotten one of the outfielders from Arizona or Kansas ,even for a steeper price it would have been worth it. K.B. going into a slump at the worst time. And giving up a potential lead-off man in another trade was just the kind of player the Cubs need. Jed Hoyer, you stink at trading.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    It baffles me how anyone thinks they gave up too many prospects this deadline. Richan is solid but doesn’t have much upside if he pans out at all. Gotta give up something to get one of the better bats traded this deadline.

    It’s even more baffling how anyone thinks jimmy Herron even has a shot to ever hit leadoff for this team. He’s dead weight that is only here because he signed for an underslot signing bonus. Couldn’t be much more unimpressed with that kid

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    It was a bad deal , period. Now Contreras gets thrown out at second with the heart of the order coming up, brilliant ! The ump squeezed Hendricks on a call that should have been strike three to Paul Goldschmidt. Another error and watch Kyle Hendricks pitch count rise.
    The Cubbies can't get out of their own way.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    You’re entitled to your opinion. Me I wanted to see them hang onto their prospects with upside, and I’d say it’s clear that they weren’t looking to trade any of their main guys. Lange is the type of underwhelming 1st rd pick that they should be shopping while he has value. Richan is 23 and really has limited upside. If castellanos helps them get a playoff spot then the move was worth it. You can always find depth piece pitchers I don’t see how anyone can freak out over the haul of prospects they traded. It was clearly a conservative trade deadline approach for a roster that hasn’t earned a big blockbuster win now move costing their higher upside better prospects

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    In reply to ronvet69:

    Man this shit is just getting to hilarious levels and people really just want to complain about Theo and Jed at all costs. The fact that people were worried we may give up a top 5 or 6 guy they don't even give up a top 15 guy and people make them out to be the two sure fire hall of famers. Our farm system is 29th in baseball and gave up two guys no where near their top 10 comeon now stop reaching

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I was thinking about them getting out of their own way too, sometimes looks like a High School team out there: Bryant swinging at a ball in the dirt to either protect Heyward, or because he didn't know the count, Contreras getting thrown out with Bryant coming up............but they're professional players, with all the tools and abilities at their disposal, they just need to put it all together.......

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    The Cubs have been plagued all year by bad baserunning, infield errors and poor defense in the outfield. Over half the season is over and you would think by now the Manager would have straightened out these shortcomings. The infield errors alone have caused high pitch counts that the Cub pitchers can't go more than five innings. This has happened many times this year. And for cryin out loud, please get a true leadoff man.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I have no idea if Jimmy Herron is any good, but the Cubs did like him when they drafted him. They paid him $520K which was only $50K underslot. Not a huge savings.
    You could argue the Cubs need to do a better job drafting/signing college juniors to under slot deals. Under slot deals create more opportunity later in the draft. Just this year the Cubs picked Ryan Jensen ranked #99 with the 27th pick and saved $570k versus the slot. Brewers with the next pick #28- drafted the 56th ranked player, and saved $690K versus the slot value. I am so glad the Cubs have a huge revenue, and payroll advantage over the rest of the NL central. It doesn't look like the Cubs are going to out scout or out develop more/better prospects when compared to the rest of the MLB teams.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    I mean their 2018 class featuring hoerner, Davis, Roederer, richan, Andy Weber, kohl Franklin, and Riley Thompson is looking like one of the better draft classes from that year of any team. A number of those guys signed slightly overslot. Herron is 23 and can’t even hit in A ball a level that he should be ready for. I think they just missed on him, and I don’t think it’s too early to say that. Overall no reason to be overly concerned about losing him in my eyes he’s far behind all the prospects that I listed from that class

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I have zero issues with trading any, and all prospects, outside of the few top guys in the system.

    The front office looks to have changed their drafting strategy, at least a little. Lasts years draft looks real good! It is early, but they have a real chance to develop, and create a lot of value from last years draft. It already started with trading Richan/Herron. I hope that trend continues.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I was surprised by trading Herron, they gave up on him quick............

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    But the Cubs have a glut of CF type prospects. He was expendable.

  • I think the Cubs front office did a phenomenal job adding talent this season!
    My only little beef is Carl Jr, and Montgomery had more value during the offseason. I wish they would deal a few guys like that during the offseason. For two guys that had some success the last few years pitching for the Cubs. You end up with two 27 year old non-prospects, one who was DFA.

  • Castellanos hits RH pitchers well also. Don't forget that. Look at his 2016-018 splits. There is not a lot of difference between RH and LH pitchers. Only in 2019 is there a big gap. He should play a lot against both sides of the rubber. He's not the next coming of Machado or Goldschmidt, but is a solid hitter and good addition to the team.

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    I'm kind of happy about Castellanos but not thrilled. Also, I wasn't expecting much but a lhrp. With the Brewers doing nothing, same with cards, we should still win the division if the team can ever consistently click at multiple things for longer stretches.

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    In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Whit Merrefield would've been thrilling but then people would complain about the package. He fills multiple holes at an above average rate. But if we lost, say Schwarber, then fans would be in arms. Big package but Merrifield has a 23' option. Or 22' I forget. Cheap contract too

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