Cubs Trade Closer David Robertson to the Phillies for Pitching Prospect Ben Brown (UPDATE)

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Cubs Trade Closer David Robertson to the Phillies for Pitching Prospect Ben Brown (UPDATE)

Chicago Cubs

There it is. The first trade of deadline day for the Cubs, with closer David Robertson going to the Phillies for pitching prospect Ben Brown (who looks quite interesting on first glance).

More coming soon.

UPDATE: A quick look at Brown, 22, who is currently dominating at High-A:

Brown was the 7th ranked prospect in the Phillies’ system in the updated Baseball America rankings, and it looks like he was a guy who was breaking out:

Midseason Update: The imposing 6-foot-6 righthander has stood out in a crowded Jersey Shore rotation thanks to a pair of fastballs—two-seamer and four-seamer—and a power slider that works as an out pitch. Brown’s fastball ranges from 94-97 mph, with the four-seamer currently ahead of the two-seamer. His slider is a hard-breaking 84-87 mph offering. He also throws a curveball that blends with his slider at times. Brown struggles to throw strikes, which could ultimately limit him to a reliever role, but he has the stuff to eventually be a high-leverage reliever if he ends up on that path. Fastball: 60. Slider: 60. Curveball: 40. Control: 40.

Brown’s K/BB rates this year are just silly: 35.4% K rate, 7.7% BB rate. If he were doing that in the Cubs’ system with South Bend, we’d be constantly ga-ga’ing over him.

Surprise, the Cubs went after a big guy who has a great slider and throws two variations of the fastball, and who may have been breaking out following a full return from Tommy John surgery. They have a type now. And it is a type they have had a lot of success with. You just have to make sure you have lots and lots of swings to get some who work out as big league starters.

UPDATE 2: Matt Winkleman is the Phillies prospect guy (he’s like the Bryan of Phillies prospects), so I really wanted to see what he had to say:

UPDATE 3: OK, now some quick implications thoughts. We know that the Cubs had been considering package moves including Robertson, and we also know that the Mets were among the interested teams. But then the Mets added Darin Ruf, which might be their bat move, and maybe that was because they weren’t going to yield on the Cubs’ required asking price for BOTH of Willson Contreras and David Robertson. So the Cubs then dealt Robertson (or vice versa), and that was that. Then again, lots of teams were likely in on Robertson, so you don’t want to act like it was all about the Mets. But, as far as Willson Contreras goes, I can’t help but wonder if that ship, too, has now sailed.

All that said, this looks like exactly the type of return you’d hope to get for a good rental reliever like Robertson. Not that far off on paper from Hayden Wesneski, the pitching prospect the Cubs got from the Yankees for five years of Scott Effross (and that felt like a good return!). So, yeah, the more I think about it, this seems like an appropriately strong get for the Cubs. We’ll have much more on Brown soon, but you can presume he’ll slot into that meaty 10 to 15 to 20 range in the Cubs’ system that has become increasingly crowded by guys who would be top 10 in other systems, as Brown was with the Phillies.

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.