Cubs make moves, but no blockbuster deal at deadline
The July 31st trade deadline has come and gone, and the Chicago Cubs remained relatively quiet with all the talk surrounding as it came to a close. They did get Dan Haren from the Miami Marlins for Ivan Pineyro and Elliot Soto, as well as cash considerations from Miami. The Cubs also made a deal right at the deadline to get some bullpen help.
Junior Lake had his opportunities with the Cubs but was never able to latch on and stay with the big league club. Lake was hitting .315 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs at Triple-A Iowa. In parts of three seasons, Lake hit just .241 in Chicago.
Tommy Hunter is a former starter turned reliever and has flourished in a relief role with the Orioles. He’s 2-2 with a 3.63 ERA in 39 games with Baltimore. Last season he posted 11 saves and a 2.97 ERA in 60 appearances.
With Neil Ramirez once again out with abdominal soreness, after already missing two months with a right shoulder issue, Hunter will help to solidify a bullpen that has had its issues late in games recently. Hector Rondon has found his way back to the closer’s role, but the rest of the back end is a bit of a mystery.
With the rumors of blockbuster deals and the talks of dealing Starlin Castro, the Cubs chose to ride out this season with what they have–although the waiver trade deadline in August could also net some smaller pieces that could contribute down the stretch.
Many fans will be disappointed the Cubs didn’t get a David Price or a Tyson Ross, but Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer weren’t going to give up key prospects to chase down after the Wild Card. Haren was a low-risk move that will help plug a weak spot in their rotation.
The offense has been one of the biggest concerns, but there are several player underperforming, and not just Castro. With Addison Russell and Kris Bryant hitting below .250, and Jorge Soler not much better wth just five home runs there’s plenty of blame to go around for the Cubs offense. Yes, they’re young and slumps were expected, but they were called up for a reason and they need to come together for the team to have a chance.
Anthony Rizzo appears to be coming out of his slump, and Dexter Fowler has continued his hot start to the second half. With Kyle Schwarber continuing his strong play the Cubs just need a few more guys to “do their job” and this offense will pick up.
It wasn’t a glamorous trade deadline as many expected more, but the Cubs did address a few of the issues with pitching that can only help improve the ballclub–and they did it at a reasonable cost.