The Cubs won the World Series in 2016 but it came with a price as the Cubs traded several of their prospects to acquire the talent that helped bring the title to the North Side. Here’s a look at some of those the Cubs dealt to help bring the World Series to town.
Gleyber Torres—The Cubs unloaded one of their top prospects in a package to acquire reliever Aroldis Chapman, who helped the Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years. Signed as part of the 2013 International class, Torres made a quick rise through the Cubs system, earning Midwest League Player of the Year honors as an 18-year-old. After the trade, Torres was named the Most Valuable Player of the Arizoan Fall League and is rated as the yankees top proepsct. After hitting .273/.367/.496 in 32 games with five homers and 18 RBI for AA Trenton, Torres was recently promoted to AAA.
Billy McKinney—Another player the Cubs gave up in the Chapman deal and the 22-year-old is off to a slow start in AA this season. In 41 games for Trenton, McKinney is hitting .188/.288/.331 with three homers and 19 RBI. A former first-round pick of Oakland in 2013, the Cubs acquired McKinney in July of 2014 in the trade that sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the A’s for Addison Russell and Dan Straily. After the trade McKinney hit .301 for Daytona in 51 games and started 2015 with a .340/.432/.544 slash at Myrtle Beach before a promotion to Tennessee. The left-handed hitting outfielder was batting .285/.346/.420 after 77 games in Tennessee but fouled a ball off his knee and broke his knee cap, missing the final month of the season.
Rashad Crawford—The third prospect in the Chapman deal, Crawford was the Cubs 11th-round pick in 2012 out of high school in Georgia. After three season in the Cubs lower levels, Crawford had a breakout season for South Bend in 2015, batting .280/.322/.382 with 20 stolen bases in 107 games. The 23-year-old has valued 27 games this year for AA Tenton, hitting just .211 with five stolen bases in 27 games.
Arismendy Alcantara—Traded to the A’s in June of 2016 for Chris Coghlan, Alcantara developed into one of the Cubs top prospects and made his MLB debut in 2014, playing in 70 games for the North Siders. He started the 2015 season on the 25-man roster but was sent back to AA early in the year and spent the rest of the season in Iowa. After the trade, Alcantara played in 16 games for Oakland but was claimed off waivers after the season by the Reds. In 29 games this year for Cincinnati, the 25-year-old is hitting .273/.289/.364.
Zack Godley and Jeferson Mejia were both sent to Arizona to acquire catcher Miguel Montero. Godley became the first pitcher drafted by the Cubs since Theo Epstein got to town to make his MLB debut. The Cubs 10th-round pick in 2013 out of the University of Tennessee, Godley sent his Cubs career in the bullpen but was moved to the rotation with the D-Backs. He made his MLB debut in 2015 and went 5-1 with a 3.19 ERA in six starts. Godley appeared in 27 big league games in 2016 and is 1-1 with a 1.99 ERA in five starts this year. Mejia was part of the Cubs 2013 International class and hasn’t gotten any higher than Low A since being obtained by the D-Backs. In 10 relief appearance this year for Kane County, Mejia is 1-0 with a 3.07 ERA , fanning 17 in 14.2 innings.
Matt Szczur—Out of options and expendable with the arrival of Ian Happ, the Cubs sent Szczur to the Padres from minor league pitcher Justin Hancock. The Cubs drafted the former football star at Villanova in the fifth round in 2010 and he spent eight years in the Cubs organization, making his MLB debut in 2014. In 13 games since being sent west, Szczur is 12-for-53 (.226) with a homer and eight RBI.
James Farris—Sent to Colorado in exchange for RHP Eddie Butler on Feb. 1, 2017, Farris was the Cubs 9th round pick in 2014 and reached AA during his three season with the Cubs. Farris converted 13 of 16 save opportunities in 2016 between Tennessee and Myrtle Beach. In 15 relief appearances this year for AA Hartford, the right-hander has seven saves and sports a 1.08 ERA in 16.2 IP, 11 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 25 K. Farris shined in the Arizona Fall League in 2016, getting named to the post-season all-star team.
Donnie Dewees—Traded to Kansas City on Feb. 8, 2017, for RHP Alec Mills, the Cubs second-round pick in 2015 is off to a slow start in AA. Dewees is slashing .224/.316/.346 with two homers and 15 RBI. The centerfielder started 2016 in South Bend and after hitting .282 with a MWL best 12 triples, was promoted to Myrtle Beach. Dewees helped the Pelicans win the Mills Cup, batting .289/.339/.423 in 35 games.
Jorge Soler—Sent to Kansas City during the off-season for closer Wade Davis, Soler was one of the Cubs first big free agent signings by Theo Epstein, inking a deal in 2012 after defecting from Cuba. Injuries slowed Soler’s path to the big leagues but he finally made his MLB debut in 2014, hitting .292 with five homers and 20 RBI in 24 games. Soler batted .262/.324/.399 with 10 homers and 47 RBI in 101 games in 2015 but more injuries limited the outfielder to 86 games in 2016, hitting .238. Soler started the 2017 season on the DL with an oblique strain for KC and is batting .157 in 16 games since returning from the DL.
Jesus Castillo—Acquired with Erick Leal for Tony Campana back in 2013 from Arizona, Castillo was sent to the Angels last summer at the trade deadline for reliever Joe Smith. After three years in rookie ball with the Cubs, Castillo was 2-3 with a 3.27 ERA in seven starts for Eugene before being dealt to the Angels. Castillo finished the year in Burlington, with a 2-3 mark and a 2.43 ERA in six starts in the Midwest League. The 21-year-old started the season back in the MWL but earned a promotion to the California League in late April. In five starts for Inland Empire, the right-hander has 23 K in 23.1 innings and a 3.47 ERA.
Daniel Vogelbach—The Cubs second-round pick back in 2011 was sent to Seattle, along with Paul Blackburn, for Mike Montgomery last year at the trade deadline. A fan favorite and an all-star for Kane County (2013), Tennessee (2015) and Iowa (2016) Vogelbach smacked 76 homers during his six years in the Cubs organization. After the trade last year, Vogelbach was called up to Seattle and made his MLB debut. He’s already been up twice this season, playing in seven games for the Mariners (3-for-17). In 36 games for AAA Tacoma, the 24-year-old is hitting. 289/.392/.479 in 36 games with six homers and 28 RBI.
Paul Blackburn—Traded along with Vogelbach to Seattle last summer, Blackburn was the Cubs second first round supplemental pick in 2012 out of Heritage High School in California. An all-star for both Kane County (2014) and Tennessee (2016), Blackburn made 78 starts in the Cubs minors, having his best season in 2014 at Kane County (9-4, 3.24 ERA, 117 IP, 1.19 WHIP). Seattle traded Blackburn to the A’s during the off-season and he’s 3-4 with a 3.33 ERA in nine games for AAA Nashville.