By: Alex Patt
The stove just boiled over as the Chicago Cubs have made improvements to the big league roster in a trade with the Tigers. The Cubs got veteran catcher Alex Avila and reliever Justin Willson from the Tigers in exchange for Jeimer Candelario, Isaac Paredes and PTBNL/Cash
The Cubs were talking about getting a veteran catcher for a while and Avila was in the mix in the talks. Avila (30) is having a nice year offensively with a .271/.392/.864 slash and 11 homers. He brings solid backstop defense and brings the veteran presence that helps out Willson Conteras.
Justin Wilson (29)is having a very good year, pitching in 40.1 innings with 13 saves, a 2.68 ERA, 0.942 WHIP and 55K vs 16 BB. This adds a great piece to the bullpen that has Wade Davis, Carl Edwards Jr. Koji Uehara and Pedro Strop fronting it off. Wilson is controlled through 2018 so he is not a rental player like an Avila who is on a on-year deal.
Candelario (23) was the top prospect in the Cubs farm after Theo had dealt Eloy Jimenez to the Sox for Jose Quintana. He has slashed .266/.361/.868 in AAA this year and played in 11 MLB games with a .152/.222/.525 slash and a homer. He is a guy who can play all over the field but is primarily 3rd base. He has a lot of upside but it will do him no good to be blocked by Kris Bryant at 3rd base.
Paredes (18) is a shortstop in the farm system that has a solid slash .275/.345/.754 in 142 minor league games and has been in the system since 2016. He has a lot of upside and will be good for the Tigers system.