Transaction Analysis: Cubs Acquire Soto

This transaction analysis will run as part of the main site’s TA roundup of minor transactions tomorrow. Here at BP Wrigleyville, you get a sneak preview.

Chicago Cubs

Acquired LHP Giovanni Soto from the Cleveland Indians  in exchange for cash considerations.

No, not that Geovany Soto. The pitcher. The lefty who made his debut for the Indians late last year and threw 3 ⅓ perfectly competent innings for the same, allowing just three hits and no runs. Sure, he didn’t have any strikeouts either, but not to worry. At 6’ 2”, he fits the profile the Cubs have been after in their pitchers for some years now: he’s tall, with a steep downward plane to his delivery, strikes out a fair amount of batters (423, over 465 minor-league innings to date), and doesn’t walk very many. He relies mostly on a 90-mph fastball and an 84-mph slider, but also mixes in a curve and changeup occasionally.

Why was this fine young man available for trade, you ask? Because the Indians didn’t have room for him on their Opening Day roster, and so designated him for assignment early last week. The Cubs, thanks to a very-poorly-timed-but-in-this-limited-way fortuitous injury to Kyle Schwarber, were able to move said Schwarber to the 60-day DL in a corresponding move today, freeing up roster space on their own 40-man, which had previously been full. (Munenori Kawasaki, who was called up to replace Schwarber on the 25-man, had already been rostered.) Thus, finally, a Puerto Rican named G. Soto returns to the Cubs, though in this case Giovanni will be headed to Triple-A Iowa, there to play the role of Pitching Depth.

Cash Considerations is having a strong season as well, as the strengthening dollar is giving it more purchasing power than we’ve seen from it in previous years. Sure, it’s not quite where it was during the dark days of the financial crisis, when it was preferred over pretty much every other form of Considerations, but it’s still a solid pickup here and there as part of a diversified portfolio. The Indians, who’ll need all the depth they can find as they look to make a run in the AL Central, are wise to stock up on it here.

Lead photo courtesy Rick Osentoski—USA Today Sports.

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