3 recent trades the Cubs won: #2 – Stealing Hayden Wesneski from the Yankees
Another absolute fleecing from the Cubs front office came at the 2022 deadline, when they traded rookie reliever Scott Effross to the “win now mode” New York Yankees in exchange for Hayden Wesneski. Considering Effross was a reliever with a respectable arsenal who was having a solid season and had multiple years of team control, it at first was looked at like the Cubs didn’t really have to make that move. It didn’t seem like something that was able to immediately move the needle for the team’s outlook.
This is a move where Hawkins’ track record with identifying and developing arms came into focus. We learned quickly just what Wesneski had to offer, as he made quite the impression late this year in the Cubs rotation. I myself will go on record stating that after what I saw at the tail end of 2022, the movement on his pitches, the strikeouts and the command, I’m ready to peg Wesneski as a core piece of the staff moving forward.
Wesneski checks in as the organization’s 12th-ranked prospect, per MLB Pipeline. However, he did not pitch at least 50 innings to qualify for his rookie season in MLB and therefore is still technically a prospect. After seeing what he can do on the mound in such a short span, you have to think that he could climb even higher on that list heading into 2023. The Cubs have several guys you can argue should be ahead of others, but Wesneski being effective at the major league level already at just 24 years old should give him a jolt up the rankings.
This trade, in my opinion, is not getting the recognition it deserves. Wesneski shut down hitters with a 2.18 ERA in 33 innings of work to close out the year as a rookie. Granted, it’s a rather small sample size, but if you watched any games in which Wesneski pitched, you know this guy has sky-high potential and the Cubs front office nailed this trade.