Jul 11, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles relief pitcherTommy Hunter
(29) pitches during the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Washington won 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Shortly before the 4 PM Eastern trade deadline expired, CBS Sports writer Jon Heyman reported that the Chicago Cubs had traded minor league outfielder Junior Lake for Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Tommy Hunter.
Tommy Hunter is an eight-year MLB veteran with a career ERA of 4.28. This season, he has a 3.63 ERA and a 1.164 WHIP to go along with a 2-2 record.
In 193 Major League games with the Chicago Cubs, Lake slashed .241/.283/.380. After beginning the season in the Majors, the Cubs sent him down to Triple-A Iowa where he slashed .315/.404/.472 in 58 games with this minor league affiliate.
The last time the Chicago Cubs traded with the Baltimore Orioles, the former landed Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop. The Cubs front office hopes that they have struck trade deadline gold this time as well.
Hunter will help solidify a bullpen that has been up and down this season. The news of another injury to Neil Ramirez coupled with the recent struggles of the back-end of the bullpen made adding another arm a necessary move. At the worse, Hunter is another player that can shoulder the workload. He is a power pitcher with a mid-90s fastball that he throws on the upper part of the zone to get hitters out. He is a prototypical late-game reliever because of his arm strength, however; the way the Cubs ultimately choose to use him will come down to a decision by Manager Joe Maddon and pitching coach Chris Bosio.
The Chicago Cubs did give up Triple-A prospect Junior Lake in this deal. Bleacher Report writer Jared Dwyer ranked Junior Lake as the Chicago Cubs tenth best prospect in 2013. When put in perspective, the loss of Lake isn’t a huge deal. He was a solid prospect and may still have untapped potential, however; he wasn’t one of the Cubs absolutely best young players. If trading away Lake is the sacrifice that the Chicago Cubs had to make to keep players like Russell, Baez, Kyle Schwarber, Jorge Soler and Castro that is a good tradeoff.
Another impact move that filled a need. Hunter isn’t the most reliable reliever, however; he is another arm in a bullpen that needs some help.
Next: Overall Grade