Cubs Acquire Middle Infield Utility Man (and Former Cubs Prospect) Ronald Torreyes

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Cubs Acquire Middle Infield Utility Man (and Former Cubs Prospect) Ronald Torreyes

Chicago Cubs

A trade! Kinda!

As teams have cleared out their rosters at the margins to accommodate the addition of Rule 5 Draft-eligible prospects, rosters have tightened up considerably, and thus the Yankees recently designated utility man Ronald Torreyes for assignment. That meant he was available in trade, and …

To be sure, this trade is much more akin to a waiver claim, and I suspect that the Yankees will only get a PTBNL after the Rule 5 Draft (it would, in that case, be a draft-eligible player who was not selected – likely not a big-time prospect), and/or if Torreyes actually sticks on the Cubs’ 40-man roster for a while.* It’s possible the Yankees weren’t going to tender him a contract on Friday anyway.

Torreyes, 26, was actually a Cubs prospect some many years ago (acquired by this front office in one of its very first trades – the deal that brought Travis Wood over from the Reds for Sean Marshall), when he was traded to the Astros for IFA pool space. From there, he bounced around a variety of farm systems, eventually becoming something of a bench fixture for the Yankees the last few years. In that time, he hit .281/.310/.375 (82 wRC+) while mostly playing solid defense at shortstop, second base, and third base. And, hey, he’s still only 26.

In other words, he’s a perfectly solid middle infield depth guy to have around. He probably won’t give you much in the way of offensive upside or production, but he can at least not kill you, and he can play good defense. He’s got an option year left, so, even if the Cubs don’t try to pass him through waivers, he could just be optioned to Iowa to open the season (in which case he just continues taking up a 40-man spot).

Having Torreyes around is pretty darn important for a Cubs club that doesn’t have much in the way of playable shortstop depth behind Javy Baez … aside from Addison Russell. And if Russell is going to be bounced this week (tender deadline is Friday) or later this offseason, having a guy in-house who could at least theoretically play shortstop if Baez got hurt … well, that’s kinda critical. Good move here.

It looks like Torreyes qualified as a Super Two by five days, so he’ll be arbitration-eligible if the Cubs tender him a contract on Friday.

The Cubs’ 40-man, by the way, is currently at 39.

I can’t wait for the first picture of him with Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo:

*To that end, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Cubs try themselves to sneak Torreyes through waivers so they can keep him as utility depth at AAA Iowa heading into the season without having to use a 40-man roster spot on him. That said, Torreyes has an option year remaining, so it’s not strictly necessary to get him through waivers to stash him at Iowa.

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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.