Cubs offload David Robertson, Mychal Givens for young arms

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

How are we feeling, Chicago Cubs fans? The team shocked the baseball world during the deadline with what they didn’t do, but they weren’t wholly motionless by the time pencils went down. After shipping off Chris Martin and pulling off a shocker by jettisoning Scott Effross, the Cubs sent two of their most apparent relief trade chips off to greener pastures.

Earlier in the day, they came together with the Phillies to send highly-coveted closer David Robertson to the City of Brotherly Love. Robertson came in as the crown jewel of the relief market this year, owing to his pristine 2.23 ERA on the year, excellent peripherals and general dominance with the Cubs. He was an incredible comeback story to watch and it all ends in a fitting place. It was in Philly that everything really went off the rails for him after a shoulder injury cut his tenure short at only seven appearances.

At the buzzer, the team also dealt Mychal Givens, another virtual lock to leave given he, like Robertson, was another one-year signing. The veteran didn’t disappoint either, ending his Cubs tenure with an excellent 2.66 ERA following a dominant 17 1/3 inning scoreless streak. He’ll head off to Queens for the lone deal the Cubs and Mets were able to connect on at the deadline, reuniting with his former Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter.

Cubs get a pair of interesting pitching prospects for Robertson and Givens

In return for their two top rental pieces, the team picked up a pair of arms that look to make an impact down the road. Robertson brought back the better return in Ben Brown, the #7 prospect in the Phillies organization under Baseball America‘s midseason re-rankings (subscription required). Brown’s shown a lot of promise at High-A this year, posting a 3.08 ERA and missing a lot of bats. He seems like a typical Cubs target in the same vein as Caleb Kilian – a guy in the midst of a breakout who could thrive under their pitching infrastructure.

Considering he’s not a closer, Givens didn’t bring a substantial return, but Saúl González is an interesting name nonetheless. He’s a pure relief prospect in the Mets organization and has so far found success in A ball this year to the tune of a 2.81 ERA complete with a 27.6 percent strikeout rate and a mid-nineties fastball. González has the potential to be a future fan favorite among those who like their big guys as he stands at an imposing 6’7″ and 280 lbs.

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In all, the Cubs continue their trend of loading up on arms and they got some intriguing ones today. Brown seems like a solid get in a similar vein to the return for the Effross trade while González could be a fun relief arm to tinker with. It’s not the blockbuster package that we may have hoped Robertson would be included in, but there’s plenty of promise here. As for Robertson and Givens, it was fun to watch these guys bounce back while it lasted. Good luck to both down the stretch.