First reported by Buster Olney of ESPN, the Chicago Cubs are closing in on a trade to acquire closer Wade Davis, pending a physical. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports has reported that Jorge Soler will go to the Kansas City Royals as part of the trade.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 7, 2016
Davis, 31, was being shopped this winter as the Royals were making plans to sell off some of their pieces since they have six major leaguers who will become free agents at the end of 2017. With Kelvin Herrera in the bullpen, an already established reliever who showed he has the ability to close, the Royals were able to pull off this move and shed some salary while receiving a young outfielder with multiple years of experience in the big leagues.
Davis spent four seasons with the Royals after being acquired in a deal to be a starter alongside James Shields. His most impressive season was in 2015, when he made his first of two All-Star appearances and posted a 0.94 ERA with a WHIP of 0.79 and a 10.4 K/9. He also recorded the final out of the team’s World Series win over the New York Mets. Davis currently has one year left on his deal worth $10 million. He missed an extended period of time during the 2016 season while dealing with a mild flexor strain in his elbow.
Soler, 24, has been with the Cubs organization since they signed him as a free agent out of Cuba back in 2012. He is under team control for four more seasons worth approximately $20 million. In 2016, Soler batted .238 with 12 home runs and 31 RBIs. With the addition of Soler, Kansas City adds depth to the outfield since they are reportedly listening on both Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson.
The Cubs were in the market for a closer after they announced that they would not be in the bidding to retain Aroldis Chapman. Instead, they turned their attention to the trade market, and got someone who a few seasons ago was one of the most dominant relievers in baseball.
Davis will be reunited with Joe Maddon, his manager for four seasons to start his career with the Tampa Bay Rays. He will slide into the closer role joining an already impressive back of the bullpen that consists of Hector Rondon and Carl Edwards.
For a team that will be moving on from Chapman, the Cubs were able to land the best closer on the trade market to join their quest to repeat in 2017.