Chicago Cubs: Trade grades for a surprisingly quiet deadline
Cubs sent Triple-A shortstop Dixon Machado to the Giants
In what was probably the least consequential trade the Cubs made, the team shipped Iowa Cubs shortstop Dixon Machado to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for minor league pitcher Raynel Espinal. The move was made in the middle of the two teams battling in a four-game series after Mark Leiter Jr. hit Giants shortstop Thairo Estrada with a pitch that concussed him, resulting in the emergency move.
Machado was in the middle of his first season back in the United States since 2019 (Also with the Iowa Cubs) and had a solid, not spectacular .796 OPS, with a .402 OBP being the most enticing stat. He played in five games with San Francisco before he was designated for assignment.
Espinal appeared in 19 games, 18 of them being starts in Triple-A with San Francisco, and pitched to an ERA of 5.29. At the age of 30, he’s unlikely to be seen as a real asset for the team going forward, but he does have a very solid 27.6 percent strikeout rate which may give the Cubs something to work with.
With the number of arms the Cubs shipped off at the deadline, it’s feasible to see them move Espinal to the bullpen and give him a look down the stretch to see if there’s anything to the high strikeout numbers. Overall, a very worthwhile return for a player that likely was not making it to Chicago this season.