The Chicago Cubs have formally announced their trade of catcher Geovany Soto to the Texas Rangers for pitching prospect Jake Brigham. The deal has the Cubs sending cash to the Rangers, which was both known and expected.

But an additional wrinkle revealed today has the Cubs also getting back either a PTBNL or cash considerations. This could mean a variety of things. It’s possible that both the PTBNL and the cash considerations coming to the Cubs are tied to how many games Geovany Soto starts for the Rangers over the rest of this season (i.e., the Rangers may have told the Cubs they were trading for a back-up for Mike Napoli (less value), but the Cubs might want protection if the Rangers are actually picking themselves up a starters, so they can re-allocate Napoli (more value)).

Alternatively/additionally, the Cubs could simply have built themselves a hedge that, if the PTBNL(s) they’re looking at doesn’t perform well over the next month or two, the Cubs can just get some cash back.

Either way, the PTBNL is bound not to be anyone of great consequence if there is a cash equivalent already on the table.

  • Mat B

    So, are the Cubs getting Brigham and the ptbnl?

  • @cubsfantroy

    If anyone wants to follow Jake Brigham on twitter, his twitter is @jbrigham49

  • Cerambam

    Is the PTBNL “significant” 😉 I joke

    • Austin

      Yup Archie Bradley

  • Cooper

    Keith Law (i know – he’s not everyone’s cup of tea – I still find his comments to be interesting) gives pretty high praise for the Cubs’ two deals. In particular, he really likes the Vizcaino pickup. He had him ranked as the #14 prospect in all of baseball before the TJ surgery this spring. Sounds good to me.

    • Cooper

      For those that can’t access ESPN insider, here is what Keith says:

      “The price [to acquire Malholm and Johnson] for Atlanta, however, was too high. I had Vizcaino ranked as the 14th-best prospect in baseball coming into 2012, but an elbow ligament he partially tore in 2010 flared up again in March, leading to Tommy John surgery that ended his season, although he should be back for spring training.

      When healthy, Vizcaino throws 92-96 mph as a starter, with an out-pitch curveball, showing slider velocity but with two-plane action and depth. He has good arm speed on his changeup and was very effective against left-handed batters in the minors in 2011, a testament to that pitch given his arm slot, which is a little below three-quarters. (Pitchers with lower arm slots are easier to pick up for opposite-handed hitters.)

      His arm is very quick, but he has been a little fly-ball prone in the minors. Atlanta seemed ready to pigeonhole him in a relief role due to the lingering injury, but the Cubs have to let him prove he’s not a starter, given his repertoire and history of throwing strikes.

      Chapman is an organizational arm who could end up a back-end reliever. Vizcaino alone is a tremendous return for what the Cubs gave up, a shot at a No. 2 or better starter in exchange for an extra outfielder and a pitcher anyone could have signed for $5 million last winter.”

  • ISU Birds

    Has a PTBNL ever been worth much? Oh well at least Soto is gone.

    • cub4life

      Yea andnow we can move on.
      With Soto being moved we will bring up Castillo and prob Coleman to relace Maholm (with Germano staying in the rotation), anyone know who we will be bringingup to replace Johnson (I know it won’t be Jackson since we don’t have the starting spot for him really yet, unless we devalue LaHair that much more).

    • Brett

      Sure, but not when there’s a cash alternative. Recently-signed draft picks are sometimes PTBNLs. (NOT in this case.)

      • Jack Weiland

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but there’s a time limit on PTBNL, right? Six months?

        • Brett


    • Spriggs

      Yes! To name a few good PTBNLs:
      David Ortiz
      Gio Gonzalez
      Jeremy Bonderman
      Jason Schmidt
      Ted Lilly

  • cubspong

    I’m not sure if anyone has asked this yet, but do you know where Vizcaino will be in our top prospects? Is he at least in our top 10 or does the TJS drop him out of the top 10.

  • Master Dan

    Very nice, I think the return is fair and good for the Cubs. Looks like Jake will be a strong bullpen arm. Not sure why, but does this guy remind you of Kyle Farnsworth??? Anyways, hopefully the Cubs find another major leaguer from the PTBNL.

  • Juan Diego Donis

    Does anyone know anything about this prospect Jake Brigham? Is he good?

    • Cooper

      This is what Keith Law has to say about Jake Brigham:

      “Brigham has a plus fastball and power breaking ball but lacks the command and the third pitch to start; lefties have lit him up for a .287/.388/.503 line in 412 plate appearances since he reached Double-A.”

      • Adam1680

        Soo.. he’s a ROOGY?