Chicago Cubs: Re-grading the fateful 2021 trade deadline

(Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /
3 of 9
Andrew Chafin / Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /

Cubs got a strong return in the Andrew Chafin trade, but there are questions

The first of the big three relievers to go at the deadline for the Cubs, Hoyer flipped the whiff-heavy lefty to Oakland for Greg Deichmann, an outfielder with an intriguing offensive profile, and Daniel Palencia, a lottery ticket pitcher with a fastball that hits triple digits regularly, and a curveball that can touch 90. Though Chafin pitched well in Oakland, the A’s missed the postseason and let the lefty walk in free agency, which isn’t the bang for their buck they likely hoped for.

For the Cubs, however, the trade hasn’t yet worked how they’d envisioned, either. Despite seeming to be the main piece of the return, Deichmann’s time in the Cubs organization has been marred by struggles. Perhaps the biggest strength in his offensive approach while with Oakland was his patience. Deichmann drew walks at a 15.5 percent rate in 2021, and this may have been why the Cubs felt so comfortable calling him up to the majors less than a month after trading for him.

Deichmann was simply overmatched in his brief stay in the majors, hitting just .133 with no extra-base hits and drawing just one walk in his 31 plate appearances. The outfielder still seems lost early in 2022. He was DFA’d and outrighted to Iowa and his patience is still confoundingly lost, as he’s walked just four times in 88 plate appearances. But while Deichmann has struggled, Palencia has begun to flourish.

Despite the electric stuff, Palencia needed massive work on his command, and it seems progress is being made. Through his first seven starts in 2022, Palencia has walked two batters or less in four of them, a massive improvement, and is getting more and more comfortable with his offspeed pitches. Palencia has sports a K/9 of 11.0, showing he hasn’t sacrificed his penchant for strikeouts.

While this trade doesn’t look like the slam-dunk that it once did, there’s still a lot of reason for optimism, especially for Palencia, but there’s no sure thing in this trade.

  • Original Grade: A
  • New Grade: B-