Trade 1: The Chicago Cubs receive RHP Daniel Bard and LHP Brad Hand from the Colorado Rockies in return for INF Pedro Ramirez and RHP Ryan Jensen
This is the kind of trade that teams make around the deadline every year, they find a way to improve the bullpen and then they find a team that isn’t really in need of theirs and they poach them. It’s a little more rare to see two relievers get sent in the same deal but with the package the Cubs are offering it’s not out of the realm of possibilities to try to get two guys instead of one.
Daniel Bard has been dominant this season. He’s got a 0.79 ERA and the Cubs would have him locked up for the rest of this year as well as next season at $9.5 million per year.
The other piece they’d get would give them a lefty out of the pen that they sorely need in the form of Brad Hand. He hasn’t been as good as Bard this year and even though he’s significantly more cost-efficient at $2 million, he’d surely be a rental for the remainder of the season.
If the Cubs don’t love the idea of taking on an additional $11.5 million this year then they could likely get the Rockies to eat a little bit of the money if they were willing to upgrade Ryan Jensen to someone like LHP DJ Herz.
The Cubs aren’t getting out of this thing by giving up anything. Ryan Jensen has struggled for much of his career since being a first-round pick in 2019, but he finds himself in AAA right now as a legitimate late-inning relief option if he can ever figure out how to limit the walks. If I were in the Rockies organization my goal would be to get pitchers that qualify contact and Jensen is that kind of player.
Along with Jensen, the Cubs would send teenage middle infielder, Pedro Ramirez, who was excellent in Rookie Ball last year with a .329/.399/.541 slash line and has been fine in Myrtle Beach this year playing at nearly two years younger than his average competition.
This deal isn’t one that will make or break either team, but it’s one that gives both sides a win for the direction they’re headed. The Rockies get a top-30 player and a top-20 player from the Cubs system and the Cubs gain two more arms out of the bullpen that they can trust later this season.