Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription required) noted recently that the Los Angeles Dodgers originally offered Michael Busch to the Chicago White Sox in a potential Dylan Cease trade before completing their four-player deal with the Chicago Cubs.
"Before trading infielder Michael Busch to the Chicago Cubs, The Dodgers included him in some of their offers to the White Sox for Cease, according to sources briefed on the discussions."- Ken Rosenthal
Rosenthal went on to say that the Dodgers' interest in Cease dwindled after they signed Japanese starter Yoshinobu Yamamoto to a monster $325 million deal. The Dodgers of course opted for a long-term pitching asset as a return for Busch when the Cubs sent 18-year-old lefty Jackson Ferris (now the Dodgers' No. 5 prospect) to Los Angeles in a trade last week. But the Cubs needed a first baseman, and given the caliber of prospect they gave up to land Busch, they probably view him as the long-term solution at the position.
And the fact that Busch was one of, if not the largest asset the Dodgers were willing to offer the White Sox, is probably why the trade never went through. The White Sox already have a left-handed, power-hitting first baseman in Andrew Vaughn. At 25 years old, Vaughn is younger and more proven at the Major League level than Busch is so it's understandable that the White Sox front office was probably not very interested in acquiring him. It would have been bad for both sides because the White Sox don't need him and Busch would be struggling to find playing time just like he was in Los Angeles.
Thankfully, nothing materialized with the White Sox, because Busch could end up being a fantastic piece in the Cubs lineup for years to come. He's still fairly young at 26, but old enough to understand his role on the team. Which is to provide the power hitting and run driving in ability that good first basemen usually provide. If Busch's numbers from the minor leagues are anything to go off of, we should be in good shape.
In 98 games at the Triple-A level last year, Busch smacked 27 home runs and drove in 90 with a stellar .323/431/618 slash line and a wRC+ of 150 (league average is 100). Hopefully, everyday playing time will give Busch the tools he needs to succeed in Chicago and fill our massive hole at first base.
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