As spring comes to a close, Cubs pull off trade
The Cubs are in the final stages of putting together their Opening Day roster and made a minor trade to clear up a spot.
Infielder Zach McKinstry was dealt to the Tigers for minor-league pitcher Carlos Guzman.
The Cubs acquired McKinstry from the Dodgers at the trade deadline last season in the Chris Martin deal. The 27-year-old hit .206 with a .633 OPS in 47 games for the Cubs down the stretch, including 4 homers and 17 runs scored.
He played all over the infield for the Cubs last season and this spring but the team has a lot of other options at second and third base to begin 2023.
[MORE: How the 2023 Cubs roster is shaking out with Opening Day approaching]
Fellow Dodgers product Edwin Ríos joined the Cubs on a big-league deal early in Spring Training and can play third base, first base and DH with some prodigious power. The Cubs have Patrick Wisdom and Nick Madrigal in the mix at third base and McKinstry is blocked at second base by Madrigal and Nico Hoerner.
The Cubs are also planning to carry utility player Miles Mastrobuoni on the Opening Day roster. Mastrobuoni was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in a trade last fall and can also play right field, which will help the Cubs fill a gap before Seiya Suzuki returns.
The #Cubs are planning to carry catcher Luis Torrens, infielder Miles Mastrobuoni and pitcher Michael Rucker on their Opening Day roster.— Andy Martínez (@amartinez_11) March 27, 2023
Christopher Morel expected to start the season at Triple-A Iowa.
Mastrobuoni also has a minor-league option remaining, whereas McKinstry was out of options.
The trade clears up a 40-man roster spot so the Cubs can add a non-roster invite to the Opening Day squad, either in catcher Luis Torrens or another reliever in the bullpen.
Guzman turns 25 in May and went 9-6 with a 4.11 ERA in 27 games (23 starts) for the Tigers’ Advanced Class-A team last season. He has spent 5 years in the Detroit farm system and carries a career 3.80 ERA and 1.27 WHIP working mostly as a starter.
Here’s Andy Martinez with more on the Cubs roster decisions: