The Cubs finally acquired the left-handed relief help they have been looking for in acquiring Mike Montgomery and right-hander Jordan Pries from the Mariners in exchange for minor leaguers Dan Vogelbach and Paul Blackburn.
While Montgomery, 27, doesn’t bring the name recognition of Aroldis Chapman or Andrew Miller, he’s been quite good in 61 2/3 innings (30 relief appearances, two starts) for the Mariners in 2016, pitching to a 2.34 ERA with 7.9 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a stellar 58.8 percent ground-ball rate. Since shifting to the bullpen, Montgomery has seen a huge spike in his velocity, as his heater, which averaged 90.9 mph out of the rotation in 2015, is now sitting at an even 94 mph in 2016.
Vogelbach, was blocked from joining the Cubs by Anthony Rizzo, so he became expendable. He is currently batting .318/.425/.548 with 16 home runs and 18 doubles in AAA. Vogelback was just short of making the Cub’s top 10 prospects by Baseball America. This trade may take the Cubs out of the running for Aroldis Chapman, who’s asking price of Kyle Schwarber was too high for the Cubs.