Well this is a curveball.

Today, the Chicago Cubs acquired pitching prospect Barret Loux and a PTBNL from the Rangers for pitcher Jake Brigham. You’ll recall that Brigham was the hard-throwing prospect whom scouts really liked that the Cubs acquired from the Rangers in the Geovany Soto deal mid-season. He ended up hurting his arm in the second half, and didn’t really do much in his time with the Cubs. He was taking up a 40-man spot, so the move, in that respect, is unsurprising.

Loux, 23, is really interesting. He’s got a wild story, having been a first round pick (6th overall) by the Diamondbacks in 2010, but not signing (shoulder injury). He was subsequently signed by the Rangers, and has been decent since then. I’ll have more on this deal in a bit, but the rest of the roster moves are coming down now. From the look of it, the Cubs are getting a nice prospect because of Brigham’s injury. Just a guess.

UPDATE: Just to make it explicit, no, Loux does not go on the 40-man roster, which was part of the reason for the trade being tonight. He signed in 2010, and isn’t Rule 5 eligible for another couple years. The early take on him as a prospect from the Twitterverse (including Rangers-side folks) is that he’s not overpowering, doesn’t have great stuff, but so far has had great numbers. The upside is probably a back of the rotation starter, at best. Some Rangers folks like Brigham better, others Loux. But they’re in the same range, assuming both are healthy (which, obviously, Brigham was not).

  • Spencer

    Does Loux go on the 40 man?

  • Mac

    Bryan Lahair designated for assignment

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  • Adam

    Dude’s got good numbers and a pedigree to match. Wonder how bad the shoulder injury was, if it is something that has healed or is of future concern

    • Tommy

      What is his pedigree? Does he have relatives that have played major league ball?

      • sclem21

        he was pick 1.6 in 2010

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          He was pick No. 6 because he agreed to a below slot deal. He was not the sixth best player in that draft.

          But he is still a solid prospect. Mid-rotation ceiling, depending on his secondary stuff. One report I saw referred to his fastball as being somewhat straight, which is a concern, but if that won’t be a big issue if he can locate it and keep hitters off balance with his breaking pitches.

  • RickCom

    Loux doesnt have to be put on 40 man roster. Signed in 2010

  • Tommy

    ohh, I like his K/9!

  • Tyler

    Here’s a little context on Loux:

    In the jump from A+ ball in 2011 to AA ball in 2012, Loux saw his K/9 decrease from 10.49 to 7.09. His B/9 increased from 2.81 to 2.91, not a huge jump. While his ERA shrunk from 3.80 to 3.47, his BABIP went from .340 to .293, implying he was much luckier in AA than he was in A+ ball. His WHIP was almost exactly the same, while his FIP jumped from 2.74 (implying that he was better than his ERA reflected in A+ ball) to 3.66 (implying he wasn’t quite as good as his 3.47 ERA at AA).

    While he had good numbers in AA, he wasn’t as good as his 14-1 record. I would like to see him start 2013 at AA.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, Tyler. And I command everyone to completely and irrevocably ignore his W/L record. It looks swell, but it is worse than meaningless (because it looks so shiny).

  • http://deleted Mr. Gonzo

    Loux was not in my tea leaves this morning. This guy’s 2012 numbers are borderline arousing… I need to stop smoking these tea leaves.

  • Kyle

    OK, initial google scouting report on Loux:

    Taken No. 6 overall in 2010 as a singability/safe pick, not a ton of projection but a polished college pitcher. Turned out he had a couple of arm injuries, and Arizona decided to just drop him, let him become an FA and take the replacement pickin 2011. He signed with Texas for $300k.

    He throws a low-90s fastball with a “little sink,” and three different breaking pitches that have the potential to be average someday. He has decent but not spectacular command. I’m pretty sure his favorite color is grey.

    He’s possibly the most boring pitching prospect I’ve ever seen, but he’s a starting pitcher in the upper minors who isn’t a complete embarrassment as a prospect, so he definitely fills an organizational need.

  • freddy

    Just saw some youtube video on Barret. Nice and easy delivery, but like the scouting reports say he needs some work on his secondary stuff. Nice pick up in exchange for Brigham.

  • Kyle

    Jason Parks says Brigham is probably the better prospect by a little bit.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I believe he said “if healthy,” which Brigham is not.

  • Jeff1969

    Loux has a torn labrum & an elbow that Arizona thought looked like a future TJ surgery when they did his physical after picking him 6th in 2010. Guess he also had bone chips removed from that elbow in high school.

    I’m confused as to who is receiving the ptbl, as I have seen it published both ways. Imo, taking a chance on him for Brigham is a good gamble. The things that makes me nervous is that he was on the DL in August with arm fatigue & his last month stats were not so good. I bet he’ll start at AAA, but he might be a bullpen arm in the long run provided his arm doesn’t fall off.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The Cubs are getting the PTBNL – it’s the PTBNL they are still owed from the Geo Soto deal. Why it hasn’t been settled yet, I have no idea.

      • TonyP

        Are you sure it was the same PTBNL or now the Rangers owe us two?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Saw some reports from the Texas side that suggest it’s the former.

  • Jeff1969

    Did some more research on Loux…his elbow surgery, bone chips removed happened as a soph at Texas A&M, not in high school. Not sure if that’s good or bad. He used to hit 95 mph with ease until that surgery. Now he’s at 90-92. Used to throw the curveball a lot in HS, seems like that might have led to his injuries. Replaced the curve with a changeup for his number two pitch. “An innings eating workhorse” is how Baseball America described his possible ceiling before the 2011 season. They also thought he might wind up in the bullpen. He moved from the Rangers 24th ranked prospect to their 20th from 2011 to 2012 prospect guides. Brigham went from 30th to off the list in the same period. The Rangers liked him, and their system is really good so, maybe he’ll stay healthy.

  • Jeff1969

    More on Loux:
    From ESPN Dallas-Fort Worth:
    “The Rangers reworked the original deal for Brigham, who was traded to the Cubs in July for catcher Geovany Soto, because of the pitcher’s right elbow strain. Brigham went 0-2 in two starts at Double-A Tennessee before going on the disabled list for the rest of the season.”

  • J-Nasty

    looks like the deal was a minor upgrade for us. Brigham wouldn’t have survived the roster cuts if we didn’t deal him.

  • #1lahairfan

    Mlb.com has Loux in their top 20.

  • Chef Brian

    So this trade is basically Vanilla for French Vanilla or is it the other way around? I suppose this trade wasn’t meant to titilate the senses but service the 40 man roster. So viewed in that lens we did alright. I guess.

  • Adam

    Just a fun FYI – Raley and Loux were the weekend starters back at Texas A&M – kind of cool for them to meet up again in the bigs.

  • ssckelley

    The fact the Cubs got much of anything for Soto is amazing, let alone another teams top 20 prospect along with a PTBNL.