The Chicago Cubs sold at the trade deadline, knowing that they won’t go anywhere this season and they had several players on expiring contracts.
They received several prospects and young players, but here are the best prizes of the deadline for them.
3. Pete Crow-Armstrong
The Mets’ first-round pick in 2020, Crow-Armstrong is a very good haul for a couple of months of Baez.
The hit tool is evident, as Crow-Armstrong projects to hit for average in MLB.
The Cubs got an intriguing piece in Pete Crow-Armstrong for Javy Baez. PCA currently out for the year but projects as a high AVG hitter with 25 SB potential and some additional power projection. #CubTogether
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) July 30, 2021
The power may never fully come given his frame, but the player is speedy and offers excellent defense as well.
He is still very young at 19 years old, and while he may need a while to get to the big leagues, he projects as a very good leadoff hitter and center fielder once he gets there.
2. Codi Heuer
Codi Heuer came to the Cubs in the deal that sent star closer Kimbrel to the White Sox.
As it turns out, Kimbrel netted the Cubs the best return, because second baseman Nick Madrigal also came with Heuer.
In Heuer, the Cubs have a very good reliever who hasn’t had a very good season, as evidenced by his 4.87 ERA.
However, there is a lot to like here.
First, he is controllable for four more seasons after 2021 before he hits the free agent market.
Second, he has very good stuff, highlighted by a 97 mph four-seam fastball and two good secondaries in his slider and changeup.
And third, other run-prevention metrics other than ERA like what he has done in 2021.
His Fielding Independent Pitching, or FIP, is 3.72, and his expected FIP is 3.79.
Additionally, he pitched very well in the 2020 shortened season, with a 1.52 ERA in 23.2 frames with the pale hose.
Heuer is a very valuable reliever that will fit in nicely in the back of the Cubs bullpen for years to come.
1. Nick Madrigal
The prize of the deadline for the Cubs was, without a doubt, Madrigal.
The second baseman is currently injured, but that’s fine: the Cubs can wait for him to get healthy, and the team is not going anywhere this year.
Starting next year, though, he is expected to take over the keystone in the North side.
He can be viewed as the second baseman of the future, and is controllable on the cheap through 2026.
For the Cubs, getting five-and-a-half seasons of Madrigal for one-and-a-half of Kimbrel was a no-brainer.
Madrigal will not hit for too much power, as his swing isn’t geared for that.
What he will do, however, is hit for an extremely high average and get on base at a healthy clip.
His contact ability is almost unprecedented for a prospect, and helps him hit over .300 at virtually every stop he has made.
It’s not happening this year but great ready #Cubs Fans because @NickMadrigal_3 is a future batting champion. One of my favorite talents and just an amazing pure hitter. Sneaky great trade by Jed. I really love this one.
— Mick Gillispie (@BroadcasterMick) July 31, 2021
He is also quite speedy and is a threat to steal 25-30 bases annually for the Cubs.
He plays very good defense at second, and is overall a great player.
The only thing lacking on his profile is power.
Madrigal is going to be a good one, and he already has some major league experience.