Brewers Acquire Lefty Alex Claudio from Rangers for Competitive Balance Draft Pick

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Brewers Acquire Lefty Alex Claudio from Rangers for Competitive Balance Draft Pick

Chicago Cubs

If there was a minor trade genetically engineered to tick off Cubs fans right now, this would be it:

A trade.

A division rival making a trade.

A division rival making a trade for a good reliever.

A division rival making a trade for a good reliever using the freebie draft pick MLB bestows upon them.

Boom. U mad.

That said, MLB gives these competitive balance picks to smaller market (or smaller revenue) clubs on the theory that they need an assist against their bigger-market brethren who can spend more on big league payroll. In other words, the very system in the league presumes that the Cubs will spend more on payroll than the other teams in the NL Central. You are not a meatball for wanting the Cubs to spend. (That said, keep it in perspective: the Cubs’ payroll right now projects to be upwards of $50 to $60 million more than the next highest team in the Central. How much is a draft pick worth anyway?)

As for Claudio, the 26-year-old lefty was fantastic in 2016 and 2017 before falling back quite a bit last year. He doesn’t walk anyone, but he also doesn’t strike anyone out (13.7% last year). Instead, he does his work by getting an absurd volume of groundballs (a ridiculous 62.5% groundball rate for his career). If last year was more blip than decline (he’s only 26), then the Brewers just added a really nice reliever.

Claudio is arbitration-eligible for the first time this year, and he’s set to make about $1.3 million.



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.