Cubs trade Jorge Soler to Royals for closer Wade Davis

CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs acquired right-handed pitcher Wade Davis from the Kansas City Royals for outfielder Jorge Soler Wednesday.

Davis, 31, is a two-time All-Star (2015 and 2016) who has gone 55-37 with 47 saves and a 3.53 ERA (305 ER/776.2 IP) in 334 major league appearances (246 relief outings, 88 starts) covering eight seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays (2009-12) and Kansas City (2013-16).  Since moving exclusively to a relief role in 2014, Davis has gone 19-4 with 47 saves and a 1.18 ERA (24 ER/182.2 IP) in 185 appearances, limiting opponents to a .163 batting average and allowing only three home runs in 182.2 innings.  Davis has held opponents to a .216 slugging percentage and .239 on-base percentage in that span, good for a .456 OPS.

Over the past three seasons, Davis went 9-2 with three saves and a 1.00 ERA in 2014 (71 outings), 8-1 with 17 saves and a 0.94 ERA in 2015 (69 outings) and 2-1 with 27 saves and a 1.87 ERA in 2016 (45 outings), becoming the first pitcher in major league history to post back-to-back seasons with a 1.00 ERA or lower in major league history (minimum 50 innings), garnering Cy Young consideration in 2014 (eighth) and 2015 (sixth).  Davis is 4-0 with four saves and a 0.84 ERA (3 ER/32.1 IP) in 23 career post-season outings.

Davis broke into the big leagues with Tampa Bay in 2009 and pitched exclusively as a starter for his first three seasons.  He moved to a relief role in 2012, going 3-0 with a 2.43 ERA (19 ER/70.1 IP) in 54 appearances before being traded to Kansas City as part of a seven-player deal on December 9, 2012.  Davis briefly returned to a starter role in 2013 (24 starts, seven in relief) but has been in the bullpen since the start of the 2014 campaign.

Over the past three seasons, Davis leads all major league relievers with a 1.18 ERA, an average of 0.15 home runs per nine innings, and a .456 opponent OPS, and is third with a 0.89 WHIP (behind only Andrew Miller and Kenley Jansen).

The six-foot-five, 225-pound Davis was originally selected by Tampa Bay in the third round of the 2004 Draft out of Lake Wales (Fla.) High School.

After the news was announced, Soler tweeted, “Thank you Cubs, the amazing fans, the city of Chicago & my teammates. World Series Champs baby! So many memories I’ll cherish forever.”