What did the Cubs get for Yu Darvish? Here's a look at the prospects.
So many subtractions.
After the Cubs went down quietly in the opening round of the playoffs against the Marlins, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein stepped down.
Starters Jon Lester, Tyler Chatwood and Jose Quintana became free agents, as did relief pitchers Jeremy Jeffress and Andrew Chafin, second baseman Jason Kipnis and outfielders Cameron Maybin and Billy Hamilton.
Outfielders Kyle Schwarber and Albert Almora Jr. were non-tendered and are also free agents.
Even Len Kasper bailed, leaving the Cubs' TV booth to call White Sox games on radio.
Starter Yu Darvish and catcher Victor Caratini have been traded to the Padres and USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported Tuesday the Cubs are "extensively shopping" all-star catcher Willson Contreras.
Add it all up, and the Cubs are undoubtedly slashing payroll and behaving like a team that is launching a full-blown rebuild.
As for additions, San Diego is expected to send veteran starter Zach Davies to the Cubs, along with four prospects: shortstops Reginald Preciado and Yeison Santana and outfielders Ismael Mena and Owen Caissie.
Here's what Baseball America has to say about the haul of young players:
Rated the Padres' No. 15 top prospect, Preciado is 17 years old and was Panama's top prospect in 2019 before signing with San Diego for $1.3 million. He has yet to play a professional game.
"Preciado grew an inch since signing and now stands 6-foot-5 with a skinny, projectable frame," Baseball America wrote. "He isn't overly twitchy, but he has a knack for being on time at the plate. A switch-hitter, Preciado's left-handed swing has a bit of an elliptical path and his right-handed swing is a more compact stroke. They're different swings, but he's shown the ability to drive the ball from both sides and has room to grow into power as he fills out.
"Preciado is a fringe-average runner, but his advanced instincts and polished defensive skills allow him to handle shortstop for now. His above-average arm strength should improve as he gets stronger."
Rated the Padres' No. 17 prospect, Mena is 18 years old.
"One of the most athletic players in the 2019 international class, he signed with the Padres for $2.2 million, the largest bonus the club awarded that year," Baseball America wrote. "His professional debut was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, but he put on 7-10 pounds of good weight and stood out during instructional league.
"Mena is a lean, sleek center fielder with plus-plus speed in the outfield and on the bases. He's a slashing hitter who sprays the ball around with a whippy swing from the left side, although he's added strength and leverage and has started to drive the ball in the air."
Rated the Padres' No. 18 prospect, Santana is 20 years old.
"Santana is the lone prospect the Cubs acquired to have played a professional game, and what he's shown so far has been promising," Baseball America wrote. "Signed for $300,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2017, Santana quickly added strength and emerged as one of the top players in the Rookie-level Arizona League in his stateside debut in 2019, finishing fourth in batting average (.346) and sixth in on-base percentage (.429).
"Santana is an aggressive hitter who swings hard but has the hand-eye coordination and barrel awareness to make consistent contact. He lines the ball to all fields, especially up the middle and the opposite way, and shows a keen eye for the strike zone."
Rated the Padres' No. 20 prospect, Caissie is 18 years old.
"Caissie starred as the top power hitter on Canada's junior national team and generated buzz in the spring when he hit a home run off the batter's eye at the Blue Jays' spring training stadium," Baseball America wrote. "The Padres drafted him 45th overall in June and signed him for just over $1.2 million to forgo a Michigan commitment. Caissie briefly played at the alternate training site after signing but was hit by a pitch on the right elbow early in instructional league and suffered a hairline fracture that kept him out most of the fall.
"Caissie is a big left-handed hitter with plus raw power and room to add even more strength. He posts some of the top exit velocities and longest home run distances in every environment he plays. Caissie's swing can get long and he is prone to striking out, but when he gets a fastball over the plate he crushes it."