The defending champion Chicago Cubs are fully prepared to lose Aroldis Chapman in free agency. This became abundantly clear when the team dealt talented youngster Jorge Soler to the Kansas City Royals for Wade Davis, one of the most-dominating relief pitchers in the game.
It is official. Wade Davis to Cubs for Jorge Soler. #Royals
— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) December 7, 2016
It’s an interesting trade to analyze from the perspective of both teams.
Soler, 24, had been considered one of the top prospects in a stacked Cubs farm system for years now. He’s considered a five-tool player and has shown some tremendous talent in his short stint with the team over parts of the past three seasons.
This past year saw Soler post a substandard .238 average with 12 homers and 31 RBI. Not great numbers, but something the Royals can definitely build on moving forward.
It is, however, interesting that a rebuilding team wouldn’t look to add multiple prospects for one of the top arms in the games. Soler’s value is definitely up there, but a full rebuild requires a re-stocking of the farm system.
As it relates to the Cubs, Davis will likely come in as the eighth-inning setup man Hector Rondon who took a back seat to Chapman after his mid-season trade from the New York Yankees.
Davis, 31, has been absolutely tremendous over the past three seasons. This past year saw him post a 1.87 ERA and 1.13 WHIP while striking out more than a batter per inning. That came on the heels of Davis putting up a 0.94 ERA and 0.79 WHIP in 2015.