Chicago Cubs: Don’t underestimate the power of ‘small’ trades

(Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images) /
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Chciago Cubs
(Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Flipping veterans for a piece for the future

2014 – Trade with the Atlanta Braves: Emilio Bonifacio, James Russell and cash for Víctor Caratini

2014 marked the year before the Cubs competitive window was about to open up. Addison Russell was part of the big trade that year. Kyle Schwarber had just been drafted. Kris Bryant and Albert Almora were still in the minors. Javier Baez made his major league debut, but he was striking out at an alarming rate.

To fill out the roster that year the Cubs took flyers on veterans that if they worked out the front office could then flip them at the deadline for prospects. Emilio Bonifacio was one such veteran who worked out in a big way. He was versatile player who bounced back and forth between second base and center field. That year he slashed .279/.318/.373. He was packaged together with left-handed reliever James Russell and sent to the Atlanta Braves for Víctor Caratini.

Caratini may end up being a valuable part of the Cubs bench for years to come. Or he may end up being too valuable a trade chip not to be part of some gigantic deal in the future. But if it wasn’t for the sudden emergence for Willson Contreras, Caratini would have been looked at as the Cubs catcher of the future. That was the hope when this trade was made.