Chicago Cubs Trade James Farris and IFA Money to Rockies for Righty Eddie Butler

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Chicago Cubs Trade James Farris and IFA Money to Rockies for Righty Eddie Butler

Chicago Cubs

This one’s going to take some unpacking, but just to get the trade in front of you, with some brief analysis below:

Butler, 25, was a first round (supplemental) draft pick for the Rockies back in 2012, and he almost immediately became one of their best prospects. By 2014, Butler was a consensus top 30 prospect in all of baseball. I’d be surprised if you’ve never heard his name.

In 2015 and 2016, he got his shot to break into the big leagues, but he never put it together. A diminishing strikeout rate and ballooning walk rate is a deadly combination, especially when you’re also giving up a load of homers. He also spent a lot of time at AAA during those two seasons, and the results there weren’t much better.

When the Rockies signed Greg Holland, Butler was the guy they decided to DFA to make room on the 40-man roster. That, alone, doesn’t bode well for Butler’s future, but we’ve seen guys – especially guys with top prospect pedigree – finally figure it out with another organization. And clearly the Rockies suspected they’d be able to get something in trade for Butler.

Your early reading on Butler is probably this Beyond the Box Score piece, which chronicles just what went wrong with such a tip-top prospect in such a short time.

We’ll have to dig in much more on Butler in the coming days, but this is a clear flyer for the Cubs, and it adds to their upper level pitching depth – Butler, should he figure things out, could be moved back and forth between the big leagues and AAA, to the extent the Cubs needed him to take a start. Or, who knows? Maybe he is converted full-time to the bullpen, and that’s where it really comes together?

As for what the Cubs gave up in the deal, James Farris was a breakout relief prospect – someone I was actually rather interested to follow next year – and he might well wind up a future big leaguer. That said, relief-only pitching prospects rarely show quite as well in MLB as they did in the minors, and if you can use such a pitcher as a trade chip in a low-cost deal, it’s probably worth it for the gamble. The IFA slot the Cubs traded is not of significant value to them, as they currently in the penalty box. It has value, but not a great deal. In fact, the highest and best value was probably using it in a trade like this.

Floro was recently claimed by the Cubs, and perhaps now they’ll see if they can pass him through waivers.

More on Butler in the days to come.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.