No Verlander for the Cubs, but they do get an outfielder at August 31st deadline
CHICAGO – For just a moment, Cubs fans flirted with another major deal for a pitcher in 2017.
On the last day in which teams in Major League Baseball could pull off a waiver trade for a player that could still be eligible for the postseason, reports swirled that the Cubs were in on the race to acquire six-time All-Star starter Justin Verlander from the Detroit Tigers.
In the end, it was the Houston Astros who struck a deal with the pitcher in the final minutes of August 31st to earn the services of the 34-year old ace in exchange for a group of prospects.
Pulling off the trade would have been difficult anyway, considering the Cubs have dealt a decent part of their minor league talent for immediate help in their World Series title defense. Yet the didn’t leave the August 31st dealing with nothing.
Late Thursday night, the Cubs acquired outfielder Leonys Martin from the Mariners in exchange for cash consideration or a player to be named later.
Known for his speed in the field and on the bases, Martin started the majority of Seattle’s games in center field in 2016 as he hit .247 with 24 stolen bases. That production has fallen off this season for the outfielder, who has played in just 34 games with the Mariners this season with a .174 batting average and six stolen bases.
The majority of the season has been spent with Triple-A Tacoma where he’s hitting .306 with 25 stolen bases and 39 RBIs.
If Martin is called up when the roster is expanded to 40 players on Friday, he’ll enter a crowded outfield in which manager Joe Maddon has found issues balancing playing time. So how much this trade ends up benefitting the team will have to be seen.