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Cubs kick off trade deadline day with a minor move

11 months agoAndy Martinez

The Cubs made a minor league swap to kick off trade deadline day.

They acquired minor league pitcher Josh Roberson from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for minor league arms Manuel Rodríguez and Adrian Sampson and international bonus pool money, the team confirmed Tuesday afternoon.

Roberson, 27, is a righty reliever who has a 4.50 ERA and 1.67 ERA in 31 games with Triple-A Durham this season. He has yet to pitch in the majors and this season is his first time at Triple-A. The righty has really hit a groove over his last 10 outings, posting a 0.69 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP and 13 strikeouts over 13 innings of work.

Sampson was in contention for the Cubs’ 5th starter spot this spring, but a stellar spring by Hayden Wesneski coupled with some struggles from Sampson (8.66 ERA, 1.53 WHIP in Cactus League play) meant he started the season at Iowa. He had a 10.17 ERA in 7 games (4 starts) this year with Triple-A and battled a right meniscus injury that limited his playing time this season.

He was a breakout pitcher for the Cubs last season, with a 3.11 ERA in 21 games (19 starts) and was stellar over his last 7 starts of the year, posting a 1.63 ERA.

Rodríguez made his debut in 2021 and in 31.1 innings in the majors, pitched to a 4.88 ERA and 1.56 WHIP with 24 strikeouts. He was designated for assignment and sent to Iowa this offseason. With Iowa this year, he had a 4.42 ERA with 56 strikeouts in 38.2 innings and 13 saves.

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