CHICAGO - If a trade for a front line starting pitcher along with a long stretch of success after the All-Star break somehow didn't convince you that the Cubs are still all in for 2017, then another deadline deal should prove that.
In a move to solidify their team at two positions, per reports, the Cubs acquired reliever Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila from the Tigers. In return, the Cubs will send infielders Jeimer Candelario and Isaac Paredes to Detroit along with a player to be named later or cash considerations.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network was the first to report the deal as official.
Wilson served as the Tigers' closer in 2017 and was quite effective, saving 13 games in 15 attempts with 55 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.68. Formerly of the Pirates and Yankees as well, Wilson had 92 holds as well in his six MLB seasons and is expected to be a set-up man for current Cubs closer Wade Davis in 2017.
This trade could benefit the team in 2018 since Wilson has one more year left on his contract and could take over the closer's role should Davis leave in free agency after the season.
Avila gives the Cubs a veteran backup catcher behind second year starter Willson Conteras, a position voided by the release of Miguel Montero back in June. In 76 games this season, primarily as a catcher along with occasional time at first base, Avila is hitting .274 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs.
Traded away from Detroit by his father, Tigers GM Al Avila, Alex will be in Chicago for the second time in as many years having spent the 2016 season with the White Sox. Outside of that season and the rest of the 2017 campaign, Avila has played his entire career in Detroit.
With the trade of Candelario, the Cubs are giving up their last player in MLB.com's Top 100 prospects. He's spent most of his season in Triple-A Iowa, batting .266 with 12 homers and 52 RBIs with a fielding percentage of .978 in 70 games at second base. In 11 games in the majors, Candelario bat .152 with a homer and three RBIs.
In his second year with the Cubs' organization, Paredes hit .264 with seven homers and 49 RBIs with Class-A South Bend in 2017.