Royals trade Wade Davis to Cubs for Jorge Soler

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Updated: December 7, 2016

Life comes at you fast in the MLB. Before last season the Royals were World Series champions, coming off back to back American League championships and poised to make another run. Then injuries caught up with them and they missed the playoffs. Now, the new collective bargaining agreement has them looking down the barrel of a rebuild. Baseball waits for no team.

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Today, the Royals traded closer Wade Davis to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Jorge Soler. This is a pretty cut and dry deal as the Cubs replace Aroldis Chapman at the back of their bullpen without having to spend big money on a closer. While the Royals get a player with some upside under team control for the next five years. It’s a win-win for both teams as the Royals basically traded an expiring contract for one with more control on it.

For the Royals:

The Royals were in a position to go for it one last time this season and then offer qualifying offers to their expiring guys. That would give them a lot of draft picks in 2018 and hopefully restart the cycle. With Wade Davis, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, Eric Hosmer and Danny Duffy all becoming free agent eligible in 2018 it seemed like everything was aligning just perfect for them to start a strong rebuild after a successful run.

The new CBA rules changed that though and they now have to look at starting their rebuild a year early through trades. Not that this is necessarily what they are doing, they could still run it back next year, but this is definitely maximizing some value on the trade market and they could continue to do that as the offseason goes on.

Jorge Soler is a solid player thus far in his career although he has struggled with injuries. He’s rated as a basically average outfielder, but he has never played every day. The Cubs outfield was deep and they were always juggling starters so this will be his first real chance at playing every day. The power is definitely real with Soler and hopefully he can round that out into being a solid every day player.

Year Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2014 22 24 97 89 11 26 8 1 5 20 .292 .330 .573 .903 146
2015 23 101 404 366 39 96 18 1 10 47 .262 .324 .399 .723 99
2016 24 86 264 227 37 54 9 0 12 31 .238 .333 .436 .769 105
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/7/2016.

For the Cubs:

This can only be considered a win for the Cubs. They fill their closer role with one of the best in the game and all it cost them was an outfielder that was probably not going to be a big part of their future anyway. When Mark Melancon is getting $60MM over four years, Davis for their fourth outfielder is a great deal.

Year Age Tm ERA G SV IP ERA+ FIP WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9
2014 28 KCR 1.00 71 3 72.0 396 1.19 0.847 4.8 0.0 2.9 13.6
2015 ★ 29 KCR 0.94 69 17 67.1 448 2.29 0.787 4.4 0.4 2.7 10.4
2016 ★ 30 KCR 1.87 45 27 43.1 234 2.29 1.131 6.9 0.0 3.3 9.8
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/7/2016.

 

Davis is coming off a historic three-year run and if he plays close to this he is an upgrade over Aroldis Chapman and the steal of the offseason. The Cubs were already projected to be the top team in the National League again. Now, they might be even better. What’s that saying about the rich getting richer?

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