So Long, Tony: Cubs Trade Campana to the Diamondbacks for Two Young Pitching Prospects

tony campana little buddyTony Campana had trade value after all.

A week after designating the speedy outfielder for assignment to open up room for Scott Hairston, the Cubs managed to trade Campana to the Arizona Diamondbacks (ACQUIRE ALL THE OUTFIELDERS!) for a couple of 17-year-old Venezuelan pitching prospects.

The pitchers are both righties, Erick Leal and Jesus Castillo, whom I will now research extensively. Jed Hoyer called them “projectable arms,” which means the Cubs don’t hate them. Still, we’re talking about teenagers who’ve only played professionally in the Dominican Summer League (below rookie ball), so there isn’t a whole lot of certainty here.

It’s likely a worthwhile return for a guy who simply didn’t have a spot on the Cubs right now. Campana will get a shot to play off the Diamondbacks bench, and I can’t help but wish him well.

By the way: Tony had clear trade value. If the Cubs had resorted to waiving Campana, the Diamondbacks would have had the 7th highest priority for claiming him. That means that, because they gave up actual value to trade for him, they expected (1) another team was going to trade for him, and/or (2) one of the crappy NL teams would have claimed him first if he’d been waived. Seems pretty clear now that the Cubs knew they could trade him when he was DFA’d.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

132 responses to “So Long, Tony: Cubs Trade Campana to the Diamondbacks for Two Young Pitching Prospects”

  1. Patrick W.

    I’m trying to figure out who the Diamondbacks are going to cut from their currently full 40-man.

    1. Scotti

      Hopefully Starling Peralta.

      1. X The Cubs Fan

        Cubs couldn’t get him anyway he’d have to be on the 40 man

  2. Miggy80

    This Campana story reminds me of an ex-girlfriend. She was fast and quick to the sack and she was really good at it, but in the year that we dated that’s all she could do for me. She didn’t cook, clean or help out around my house. She was all ways at my place. I was probably only at her place twice and it was kind of messy. Then one day she wants to tell me she loves me! I had to designate her for assignment so I traded her off to some friends of mine who just had a kid. Things worked out I ended up signing a Top free agent. Yeah she isn’t nearlly as quick, but she makes up for that with a better job, better homemaker, even invites me over to her place and is a Cubs fan. The ex was a Yankee fan any way and she did all right. I hear she’s getting married soon, so I’m sure Tony will be just fine with all that speed.

    1. Die hard


  3. Fastball

    Sean Camp is Scrappy Scrappy Scrappy. Maybe they would send us two more prospects for his worthless azz. We get rid of him hopefully in the next couple weeks when he can’t get the 50mph fastball all the way to home plate and I will be happy to be rid of the Scrappy Scrappy Crappy Crappy on this team.

    1. King Jeff

      Sean Camp might not be able to get his fastball to home plate, but Shawn Camp filled a huge hole for the Cubs last year and has had 5 straight decent years out of the pen in a row. I would say that he’s one of the team’s most important pitchers heading into the year, not someone who should be cut.

  4. dan

    Brewers lose 1st baseman Gamel interested in Volgebach would the Cubs trade him to a rival?

    1. Bigg J

      No way. You want to see the Crew suffer and don’t want to help them out. Especially since Volgebach is still young and the Cubs still have time to hold on to him

    2. Kygavin

      The 2 arent related even slightly. Vogelbach is 2-4 years away from the majors still, which wouldnt help the Brewers at all to replace Gamel The Brewers also have a 1B prospect who hit over 300 and over 25 HR in AA last year in Hunter Morris, so a young 1b isnt at the top of their shopping list i wouldnt think

  5. Bigg J

    Wow kind of suprised we got 2 players out of him. I wonder if there were multiple teams interested and the Cubs took the best choice?

    1. Die hard

      Neither will ever see a ML roster

      1. cub2014

        A small percentage make it but who knows. Anyway good luck tony, hopefully by june or july
        jackson will make it back up and have good results.

  6. Patrick G

    Very surprised the Mets didnt try harder to get him. Their outfield is atrocious and their top 2 salaried outfielders are Jason bay and bobby Bonilla.

    1. Matty V

      ^The reason this is so funny is because it’s true.

  7. dan

    Maybe this is Brock trade in reverse and these two kids end up as 20 game winners !!!!!!

    1. truthhurts

      Yeah, Erick ‘Fergie’ Leal and Jesus ‘Maddog’ Castillo.

  8. ferrets_bueller

    While it is possible that other teams were lining up to claim, or trying to trade for campana, you left out one glaring possibility (actually….a fact). Kevin towers….is an idiot. I wouldn’t be shocked if he traded for Vernon wells tomorrow.

  9. cubs4life

    Erick Le put up decent numbers in the Dominican league, went 6-2 with a 2.44 era, in 14 appearances, 12 starts he accumulated 70 innings, striking out 70, while walking 11.

    Jesus Casillo on the other hand went 2-4 posting a 5.40 era in 14 appearances, 8 of them being starts, 46.2 innings, 41k and 17BB.

    1. Matt

      I’ll throw in there that Castillo had an FIP of 3.50 and Leal had an FIP of 2.05, Leal’s I thought looked especially good, and Castillo’s isn’t terrible either.

      It’s still way too early to tell with either one though.

  10. Jim

    The untold story: It was part of Bob Brenly’s contract that they had to get Campana. Wait for the next move … Michael Brenly to the Dbags.

  11. Justen

    Campana seems to fit perfectly into the new scrappy attitude the Diamondbacks are going for.

  12. BluBlud

    This sucks but at least he will get to stay in the Majors. Hopefully he gets a fair chance to play. If he does, he’ll force his way into that lineup as I think he would have in Chicago. Guess I will be pulling for and watching the DBacks quite often this year.

  13. Doctor_Blair
    1. Kygavin

      hahaha he comes up to Laroche’s stomach

  14. North Side Irish

    BA’s write up of the trade…sound like decent lottery tickets for an end of roster guy…

  15. Luke

    Looks like a pretty good return for Campana, now that I’ve had a minute to study the players they got back. Both are some years out, but neither are just run-of-the-mill DSL players.

    All in all, not bad for a guy who was going to be waived if no deal was struck.

  16. Jason (Thundermug)

    When will the Cubs announce the Vigil to be observed for Tony Campana ::P

  17. TSB

    So who will be on a World Series team first, Campana or the Cubs?

  18. another JP

    For a DFA’d guy who was a borderline 25th man on a 101 loss team last year, this was a great return. The way I see it, Campy is a 27 year old who’ll never be anything more than he is right now– a late inning replacement/pinch runner for the D-bags or AAA depth. Leal or Castillo may never make it to the bigs but they’re only 17 and have their entire careers ahead of them. To think that AZ gave Castillo a $250K bonus (3x more than anyone else in 2011) and he might not be the best pitcher acquired in the trade is really encouraging. Much better return than settling for a 24/25 year old trying to break out of AA IMO.

  19. djaws

    disappointing. campana is a dangerous weapon, especially when the team can’t score runs to begin with.

    1. another JP

      Yeah, maybe AZ can have him bat 4th where he can do some real damage.

  20. Die hard

    Hope we don’t play AZ too much

  21. JR

    I can’t believe that Campana had trade value. The Dbacks are just insane. At this point the return the Cubs got for Campana might be better than what they get for Garza… lol.

    1. another JP

      That’s a real possibility with the way the last couple years have been for Garza.

    2. cub2014

      According to fangraph Campana will be used as pinch runner
      and defensive substitute for Kubell in RF. Interestingly Campana
      ranks #2 in all MLB in runs produced by base stealing in last 2 years
      between Coco Crisp and Micheal Bourn though only playing 25%
      of opportunities compared to those 2

      1. cub2014

        sorry, Kubel plays LF

      2. Hansman1982

        Yup and in both of those years Bourn smoked Campana in the run production per plate appearance department.

        Bourn > Campana just like a grand slam > solo hr.

        Stolen bases just aren’t that valuable when it comes to creating runs. It would be interesting o see someone like Bourn steal less and see if he could squeeze a couple more doubles from not wearing himself out stealing.

  22. Jbb

    I saw video on the the two players. Their delivery Looks stressful on the arm. Brett any insight on how much Derek Johnson gets involved at the dsl level?

    1. another JP

      Castillo’s delivery actually looked very smooth to me and both guys were considerably better than video I saw of the other DSL pitchers that AZ took that year. What I really liked was how Leal/Castillo used their legs when delivering the ball, but then again they’re both still kids and anything can happen.

  23. Martin

    Aside from the fact that they did a great job getting value for a guy they DFA’d, this was, in a way, a roundabout way to skirt some of the international signing rules. Worst case scenario, they picked up two lottery tickets and saved $325,000 against the signing cap that can be used on other international prospects.

    It’s a bit of a reach, but I like the move even as a means to increase the pitching depth in the system without spending money against the (stupid) spending restrictions.

  24. ichabod

    you are pathetic. he has average value,at best, because he is only speed. if average at all. he is sentiment rolled up in a fast small package and we all fell for it. if the cubs want to be as good as they say, sentiment is gone. what good is a guy with no arm in your outfield whose only asset is speed and he cant get on base. sentiment killls the cubs every year and im over it. just win already. if its without campana, FINE!

  25. Marc N.

    Both are intriguing as 17 year old DSL pitchers go. Still surprised they got anything for Campana, but this FO gets intriguing value again.

  26. Theo Epstein

    This was probably the hardest trade for me to make in all of my career.

  27. Campana Trade Quotes and Reactions and Other Bullets | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    [...] Campana was quite gracious after being traded by the Cubs yesterday, returning to the Cubs’ clubhouse to talk to the media after the trade was [...]

  28. #1lahairfan

    Jesus Castillo cost the Diamondbacks the most out of all their international signings. (25,000).

    Could their be something here? Even though he posted an ERA around 5 in the DSL.

    1. #1lahairfan

      It was in 2011