The Cubs just made another big splash in the pre-deadline trade market. They acquired lefty reliever Justin Wilson and backup catcher Alex Avila from the Tigers in exchange for Cubs top prospect Jeimer Candelario, shortstop Isaac Paredes, and a player to be named later or cash. First, let’s break down what the Cubs got.
Justin Wilson, 29, is a stud. This season he has a 2.68 ERA in 40.1 innings pitched and 13 saves to go along with it. The best part about Wilson is that, in addition to being a great bullpen arm, he is also under control for the 2018 season. The 2nd piece coming to Chicago is catcher Alex Avila. Avila is 30 years old and a free agent at the end of this season. I have said in the past that Ellis was my preferred backup catcher, but I am certainly happy with this move. Avila is slashing .271/.392/.472 with 11 homers and 32 RBI in 76 games. He will be a perfect compliment to Willson Contreras, and the team won’t miss a beat when he is on the field to give Willy a day off.
Now for the bad part; the Cubs had to give up top prospect Jeimer Candelario. Candelario has been up with the big league squad this season, hitting .152/.222/.303 in just 33 at bats. It is still a little to early to tell just what Candelario will be, but it does hurt to give him up. Paredas is just 18 and playing in South Bend, the Cubs A affiliate, where he is hitting .261 with 7 homers and 49 RBI.
As much as it hurts to give up yet another top prospect, the Cubs got a very good return from the Tigers. Wilson will be a vital part of the bullpen, both down the stretch this season and in next season as well. It will also be nice to get Contreras some days off while Avila gets a few starts. Only time will tell how this trade truly shakes out, but for now I am happy with it.
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