Chicago Cubs News: Nelson Velazquez dealt to Royals in exchange for Jose Cuas

The Chicago Cubs dipped into their organization outfield depth on Monday as the team dealt Nelson Velazquez to the Kansas City Royals for Jose Cuas.
Detroit Tigers v Kansas City Royals
Detroit Tigers v Kansas City Royals / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

With news on Monday that the Chicago Cubs were promoting top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong to Triple-A Iowa, there has been growing speculation that a trade was near involving one of the outfielders currently with the Iowa Cubs.

While there was no Iowa Cubs' outfielder included in the team's deal with the Washington Nationals for third baseman Jeimer Candelario, the Cubs were not done dealing.

In a trade with the Kansas City Royals that saw the team acquire right-handed relief pitcher Jose Cuas, the Cubs sent outfielder Nelson Velazquez to Kansas City.

With the Cubs having an outfield in place currently of Ian Happ, Cody Bellinger, Seiya Suzuki, and Mike Tauchman, Velazquez had a blocked path to consistent playing time with the team at the Major League level. Not to mention the Cubs likely hope that Bellinger is a part of the long-term plans for the team.

It remains to be seen if the Cubs will place Cuas on the Major League roster right away or if he will start his tenure with the organization at Triple-A Iowa.

In 41.2 innings pitched out of the bullpen for the Royals this season, Cuas has posted a 4.54 ERA and his FIP isn't far off with a mark of 4.45. For the Cubs, the value they may see in Cuas is against left-handed hitters. This season, lefties are slashing .206/.359/.397 with a strikeout percentage of 35.9 percent.

Cuas is under team control until 2029 and this is the exact type of move the Cubs needed to make in regard to the trade of Velazquez. Velazquez did not have a long-term future with the Cubs and in exchange, the team received a reliever that could fill a need at the Major League level down the line.

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