Cubs Trade Zach McKinstry to the Tigers

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Cubs Trade Zach McKinstry to the Tigers

Chicago Cubs

Well, there’s no surprise here. As soon as the Cubs started announcing decisions the fringes of their Opening Day roster — which includes Luis Torrens and Miles Mastrobuoni (but not Chris Morel) — you knew something was coming for Zach McKinstry. He is, after all, out of minor league options. But instead of having to designate him for assignment, they traded him. It is also not a surprise that the Cubs were able to get something for McKinstry. He’s a big league bench player, just not one who fit this team at this time anymore.

In return for McKinstry, who still has FIVE years of team control remaining, the Cubs have received 24-year-old Tigers righty Carlos Guzman, a converted infielder, who now starts. Guzman made 23 starts (and two relief appearances) at High-A last season, turning in a 4.16 ERA with a 20.6% strikeout rate and a 7.9% walk rate.

The move has been announced by the Cubs in a press release.

MESA – The Chicago Cubs today acquired right-handed pitcher Carlos Guzman from Detroit for infielder Zach McKinstry.

Guzman, 24, last season posted a 4.11 ERA (49 ER/107.1 IP) in 27 games (23 starts) between High-A West Michigan and Double-A Erie, striking out 90 against 34 walks. He spent a majority of the season with West Michigan, pitching to a 0.41 ERA (1 ER/22.0 IP) with a .372 opponent OPS in his final four outings, August 19-September 6, prior to his promotion to Erie.

Signed by the Tigers as a non-drafted free agent in March of 2015, the six-foot one-inch tall Guzman is 22-22 with a 3.80 ERA (134 ER/317.0 IP), one complete game and four saves in 84 career minor league games (64 starts). He has walked 118 and struck out 298 batters, allowing less than one home run per 9.0 innings (28 HR/317.0 IP).

McKinstry, 27, was acquired by Chicago last July 30 for right-handed pitcher Chris Martin and hit .206 (32-for-155) with six doubles, three triples, four home runs and 12 RBI in 47 games for the Cubs.

I don’t know much about Guzman other than what’s listed above, but we will be digging in more soon. He’s most likely not MUCH, as the Cubs’ hands were pretty tied on McKinstry, but it’s never bad to get another arm into the system, especially with the strides the pitching infrastructure has taken over the last few years. Hopefully, the Cubs saw something they liked and/or thought they could next-level.

The only bummer is that this is an extension of the Chris Martin trade, and the Cubs probably could have done better than Martin for Guzman at the 2022 trade deadline. That part, it seems, was a bit of a whiff.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami