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MLB Trade Deadline: Cubs-Giants make minor deal, McKinstry added to MLB roster

1 year agoTony Andracki

The Cubs and Giants swapped minor leaguers Sunday afternoon, with infielder Dixon Machado heading to San Francisco and right-handed pitcher Raynel Espinal now joining the Cubs system.

The Giants were in need of a shortstop after infielder Thairo Estrada was hit in the head by a pitch Saturday night by Cubs reliever Mark Leiter Jr. San Francisco added Machado to the MLB roster in advance of Sunday’s game.

Machado, 30, was playing well for the Iowa Cubs in Triple-A, hitting .312 with a .402 on-base percentage and .796 OPS. He was in the Cubs minor league system in 2019 before playing in the Korean Baseball Organization for 2020-21. He played in 172 MLB games with the Detroit Tigers from 2015-18.

“He’s deserving of getting an opportunity here when they have a need,” David Ross said of Machado. “Super happy. Any time you get to see good human beings get to have good moments like that, that’s good.”

Espinal is a 30-year-old starter who has spent time in the Yankees, Red Sox and Giants farm systems. He made his MLB debut last year with Boston, working a 2-inning relief outing.

This season with Triple-A Sacramento, Espinal is 5-5 with a 5.29 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. He is striking out 11.0 batters per 9 innings and owns a career 3.64 ERA in 181 minor league games.

In other trade deadline news, the Cubs added Zach McKinstry — the trade return from the Dodgers for Chris Martin — to the big-league roster Sunday. To make room, first baseman Alfonso Rivas was optioned to Triple-A Iowa.

McKinstry — a 27-year-old utility player — didn’t get much of an opportunity on the loaded Dodgers roster and is excited by a new chance with the Cubs.

“Playing every day is my goal,” he told reporters in San Francisco Sunday. “That’s why we’re here. I felt almost like a caged animal there just hanging out on the bench. Getting to see what they’re doing, though. Learning from some of the best in the game and excited to use it now.”

Ross told McKinstry to get work in at all the infield spots, though the newest Cub also has extensive experience in the outfield and provides another left-handed bat.

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