Cubs Trade Alert: Mike Montgomery and Jordan Pries Come to the Cubs for Dan Vogelbach and Paul Blackburn
The Cubs acquired young left-handed reliever Mike Montgomery and right-handed starter Jordan Pries in exchange for AAA 1B Dan Vogelbach and pitcher Paul Blackburn. The Cubs get 5 years of control over Montgomery and the Mariners get 6 or 7 years with Vogelbach and Blackburn, depending on when they are promoted to the majors in Seattle.
Montgomery is a 27-year-old reliever/starter who has come into his own this year as a reliever. He currently has a 2.34 ERA in 32 appearances. Against righties, he has a 1.73 ERA and a 3.60 ERA vs. lefties. He has a solid groundball rate and has struck out 54 in 61.2 innings. The Cubs have five years of control beyond this year.
Pries is young right handed starter. At 26, he’s bounced between AA and AAA this year playing mostly at AA Jackson, but now at AAA Tacoma. Over his last ten starts at AA, he has a 3.51 ERA striking out 59 in 59 IP while walking only 15.
Vogelbach,23, is a player many Cubs fans have coveted for years. He has the potential for power and is having a great year at AAA Iowa. Vogelbach is hitting .318 with 16 HRs, 65 RBIs, and an OBP of .425 in 89 games. While blocked by Anthony Rizzo at first, Vogelbach fits nicely into the Mariners’ system as a likely DH.
Blackburn was at AA Tennessee and having his best year as a prospect. Blackburn has a 3.17 ERA for the year. He was the Cubs minor league pitcher of the month in April when he posted a 0.29 ERA.
I like this deal for both clubs. The Cubs get a cost controlled reliever, for now, but he may have the potential to start later. At 27, I don’t know how much time after this year they will explore that avenue, but according to reports on Twitter (@dabynsky), Montgomery has seen an uptick in velocity since transforming to a reliever.
I also don’t think this takes the Cubs out of the Andrew Miller sweepstakes, but it does give the “air” that Cubs are not desperate to deal for Miller. And that if the Cubs are to get Miller, it will be a price they deem and not the Yankees (aka – No Schwarber).
Theo Epstein told reporters the following after the game today:
“I like making this kind of a move early. We have not touched certain parts of our prospect inventory. That will keep us very viable for every opportunity that is still out there. I feel good about doing something you like, so you have something to fall back on. It gives you the ability to say no and draw a line. We have not touched the prospects we potentially are going to move in some bigger deals in the future.”
I will adjust the Top 21 Prospect List later this week.
Dan Vogelbach through the years…
Paul Blackburn through the years…