It’s very rare that you see a straight up player for player deal in the MLB. Mostly because this isn’t a video game and teams understand that trading two players with the exact same value is unrealistic. Apparently that’s not the case here, as the Cubs have traded Jorge Soler for dominant reliever Wade Davis.
There’s no other way to put this except that it just makes sense. The Cubs won’t get into a bidding war for Aroldis Chapman because he basically wants all of the money so they need another shut down reliever to solidify the bullpen. The Royals had a revolving door at right field last year, so why not grab a guy who has the raw ability to become a premier American League right fielder.
What the Cubs are Getting
Dominance. Last year Davis had an off year which consisted of a sub-2 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. The converted starter posted one of the best seasons by a reliever ever in 2015 with a sub-1 ERA and a microscopic 0.78 WHIP. Considering he was a starter the first 4-ish years of his career, he has a bit more wear and tear on his arm than a normal 30 year old reliever but I don’t expect that to be a concern. All things considered, you’re getting production on an Aroldis Chapman level without approaching Aroldis Chapman costs. And Aroldis Chapman dickheadness.
What the Royals are Getting
Potential. In the rebuilding days, and by that I mean like a two years ago, Jorge Soler was considered by many to be the most stable Cubs prospect on the farm. In many ways, he simply got unlucky. In Chicago he was surrounded by all-world prospects who needed very little time to develop. Bryant, Baez, Schwarber, etc. not only saw success before Soler but also did it very quickly. Some guys just need more time to develop. Because Soler was in a lineup with so many big bats, his power didn’t seem all that special. Make no mistake, when he gets it he can make the ball travel farther than most. The Royals are receiving a guy who scouts use to compare Yoan Moncada’s raw abilities to. I hate the ‘change of scenery’ narratives because most of the time they’re an excuse for a bad player, but in this case it might be what Soler needs. He’ll be allowed to get his at bats without the pressure of keeping up with a seemingly endless string of talented youth.