The Cubs have found their new closer in Kansas City. Wade Davis will now be closing games in Chicago filling the void left when Aroldis Chapman decided to test the free agent waters.
Davis, 31, saved 27 games with a 1.87 ERA in 43 1/3 innings around a forearm injury in 2016. He struck out 47. Davis owns a 1.18 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in 182 2/3 total innings since moving back into the bullpen full-time three years ago. He also closed out Kansas City’s 2015 World Series clincher.
In return, Kansas City will be receiving outfielder Jorge Soler from Chicago.
Soler, 24, has struggled with inconsistency in his MLB career. He’s a career .258/.328/.434 (107 OPS+) hitter with 27 home runs in 211 games. Interestingly enough, he’s not the kind of player we’ve seen the Royals employ in recent years. Soler strikes out a bunch (27.6 percent in 2016) and he’s not good defensively.
The move is quite surprising for Kansas City as we’ve seen other high profile closers dealt for a lot more than what the Cubs were offering here. Either Davis’s injury is worse than we thought, or Soler is better than people think. If the Royals had just held off dealing Davis until after Aroldis Chapman signs whatever mega-deal he’s likely to get, the Royals would have had a lot more leverage and could have gotten a much sweeter deal.