Cubs agree to trade Jorge Soler for Royals closer Wade Davis: report
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – With Aroldis Champman likely headed elsewhere via free agency, the Cubs went to the Winter Meetings in search of someone to close out their games in 2017.
In the early morning hours on Wednesday, the team appears to have found their man to do that.
According to multiple reports, the Cubs are set to acquire closer Wade Davis from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for outfielder Jorge Soler.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today was the first to report the story.
No confirmation has come from either club yet, but the trade is expected to be announced later on Wednesday.
Davis comes to the Cubs from Kansas City where he spent four seasons as a starter, reliever and eventually a closer. He held the latter role the final two campaigns, collecting 17 regular season saves and four in the playoffs in helping the Royals win their second World Series title in 2015.
Despite less success as a team, Davis flourished in the role as a closer in 2016, saving 27 games with a 1.87 ERA, blowing just three saves all season.
Like a few others on the Cubs’ roster, Davis has history with current manager Joe Maddon. He spent his first four years in Tampa Bay as both a starter and a reliever with the Rays.
A third round pick of Tampa Bay in 2004, Davis has a career record of 55-37 with a 3.53 ERA and 51 total saves.
To get Davis, the Cubs had to say goodbye to one of the first major pieces of their rebulid that eventually brought an end to a 108-year World Series championship drought.
Signed to a nine-year, $30 million contract with the Cubs in 2012, Soler made his major league debut with the Cubs in Cincinnati of August 25, 2014. He promptly homered in his first major league at-bat.
Soler enjoyed his best season with the Cubs in 2015 when he played in 101 games, hitting .268 with ten homers and 47 RBIs. He was a critical part in the team’s postseason success, hitting .474 with three homers and five RBIs in helping the Cubs reach the NLCS for the first time in 12 seasons.
Injuries, however, were apart of Soler’s time with the Cubs. Three times in 2015 he was on the 15-day disabled list and was back on it for a strained left hamstring in June of this season.
Soler played in 86 games in 2016 and while his number of homers increased (12), his batting average (.238) along with RBIs (31) took a dip.
During the Cubs’ run to the World Series, Soler had just two hits in 13 at-bats and failed to drive in a run.