Cubs News

Cubs make another trade, add bullpen depth

2 months agoTony Andracki

Shortly after the Jeimer Candelario trade was made official, the Cubs pulled off another move — this time to add bullpen depth.

The Cubs and Royals agreed on a deal Monday evening sending right-handed pitcher José Cuas to Chicago in exchange for outfielder Nelson Velázquez.

It is not yet known if Cuas will join the Chicago bullpen or head to Triple-A Iowa.

“We’ll see how that whole thing pans out,” David Ross said. “I think they’re trying to add as much as we possibly can to help the club. He’s a guy that they identified that’s got some [minor league] options and he’s got some things that I know looks pretty nasty — three-quarters delivery, sinker-slider, real stuff. I think he can help us and we’ll see in what capacity.”

Cuas, 29, was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 11th round in 2015 and made his MLB debut for the Royals last season. Collectively, he has a 4.08 ERA and 1.64 WHIP in 92 games (1 start) while striking out 9.8 batters per 9 innings.

This season, he carries a 4.54 ERA, 1.61 WHIP and 52 strikeouts against 21 walks in 41.2 innings. Cuas has 4 holds this season and notched 11 holds and a save last year in Kansas City.

Cuas is a sidearmer with a sinker-slider profile and sits at 92.7 mph with his sinker. He also throws a fastball and changeup. He was initially drafted as an infielder but converted to pitcher after the 2017 season. He was released by the Diamondbacks (2020) and Brewers (2018) and delivered packages for FedEx in between playing Independent ball in 2019 and 2021.

“I saw a couple videos of his sidearm sliders that look pretty gross,” Ian Happ said. “Channeling a little Scott Effross back. That’s good to see.”

Velázquez made his MLB debut with the Cubs in the middle of last season and spent 13 games in Chicago earlier this year. He has 9 career homers and a .696 OPS across 238 plate appearances, including a go-ahead grand slam as part of an epic Cubs comeback in April.

He has spent much of this season in Triple-A, smacking 16 homers and 15 doubles with 44 RBI and an .803 OPS in 74 games.

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