The Cubs have acquired Nicholas Castellanos from the Tigers, the clubs have announced. The return to the Tigers is two minor-league pitchers, Paul Richan and Alex Lange.

Castellanos was actually in the Tigers’ lineup in Anaheim as the deadline hit, but when he was supposed to be on deck, he wasn’t anywhere to be seen. This signals that the deal truly came to fruition at the last minute before the 4 p.m. ET trade deadline. 

We’ll get to the Cubs part in a second. Real fast, the return to the Tigers: 

  • Richan is a 22-year-old right-hander in Class A-Advanced. He’s 10-5 with a 3.97 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 86 strikeouts in 93 innings. 
  • Lange is a 23-year-old righty who started the season in Class A-Advanced but moved up to Double-A, where he’s got a 3.92 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and 28 strikeouts in 39 innings. He had a 7.36 ERA in 47 2/3 innings before moving up. 

Castellanos, 27, is hitting .273/.328/.462 (106 OPS+) with 11 homers, 37 RBI, 57 runs and an MLB-best 37 doubles this season. He’s a free agent after the year, so this is a rental for the Cubs. He’s a sub-par defender in right field, but the Cubs are looking for the big bat here. 

My hunch is most games the Cubs go with Jason Heyward in center and Castellanos in right, and if they have a late lead, they’ll bring in Albert Almora as a defensive replacement in center with Heyward sliding to left. 

The top of the Cubs’ order for Wednesday night looks like this: Heyward, Contreras, Bryant, Rizzo, Baez and my hunch is they stick with a similar framework moving forward. That means a close to everyday lineup — remember, Joe Maddon mixes things up a bunch — might look something like this: 

  1. Heyward, CF
  2. Willson Contreras, C
  3. Kris Bryant, 3B
  4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  5. Javier Baez, SS
  6. Castellanos, RF
  7. Kyle Schwarber, LF
  8. Whoever plays second base (David Bote, Robel Garcia, Ian Happ, Tony Kemp)

Kemp was also acquired on Wednesday for third-string catcher Martin Maldonado. There will need to be a roster move to accommodate Castellanos and the guess is either Bote is optioned to the minors or Daniel Descalso is designated for assignment. 

Regardless, that lineup above is pretty powerful. The problem has been consistency, so the Cubs are hoping that Castellanos and Kemp can help provide a boost in that department. 



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