If you’re a reliever obviously on the market, but not on the Chicago Cubs, you were traded today. I exaggerate slightly, but we’ve already seen Jose Veras sent to the Tigers, Scott Downs sent to the Braves, and now Jesse Crain is on the move.
Today, in a complicated transaction, the White Sox sent Crain to the Tampa Bay Rays for a return that, according to multiple reports, will be contingent on how much Crain actually pitches for them this year. Crain has been on the DL with shoulder soreness, making him a tricky piece to trade. A PTBNL/case type trade ameliorates that issue, and now the White Sox will just have to hope that he’s OK and pitches well for the Rays.
Your impact here to the Cubs is small, given that we can’t even evaluate the return on Crain, who has been among the best relievers in baseball this year. Your upside is that, to date, I’d not heard the Rays connected to Kevin Gregg or James Russell (or any other Cub, really), so the acquisition of Crain does not take a team out of the picture that was otherwise in the market for a Cubs piece.