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Published: Tue, August 01, 2017
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Cubs close to getting Wilson, Avila from Tigers

Cubs close to getting Wilson, Avila from Tigers

Monday morning, the clubs confirmed the deal. For the Tigers, Wilson had 13 saves, a 2.68 ERA and a WHIP of 0.94.

Is Justin Wilson headed to the north side of Chicago?

Justin Grimm and Hector Rondon, who struggled earlier this year, retired all six batters they faced Sunday with Carl Edwards Jr., Pedro Strop and Koji Uehara unavailable due to their recent workloads. Justin Grimm may be in trouble of being designated for assignment here, as he's the likely guy squeezed out the presence of Wilson.

Quintana, acquired from the White Sox at the break, already has energized the clubhouse and the rotation since his arrival, going 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA in three starts. The stable now boasts a 3.34 bullpen ERA, which is good for fourth (tied with the New York Yankees, actually) in the majors, trailing only the Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox. This is no LOOGY; this is a guy you can use against the meat of the order in a crucial situation.

Wilson could serve as a setup man this season before taking over as closer for Wade Davis, who is eligible for free agency after this season. Wilson is not a free agent until 2018. If you look at Candalerio, it's a solid return for Detroit, but Wilson is probably the top reliever available and I thought the Tigers could do a little better for him and Avila.

Candelario played 82 games in Myrtle Beach - the Cubs' Advanced Class-A affiliate - in 2015, batting.270 with five home runs and 39 RBIs before being promoted to Double-A Tennessee, where he hit.291 with five home runs and 25 RBIs in 46 contests. He's good enough to be a starter for most teams but the Cubs have Willson Contreras, who ranks behind only Buster Posey and J.T. Realmuto in FanGraphs WAR. Contreras is a right-handed hitter, and Avila is a left-handed hitter. But he's a corner infielder, and the Cubs have perhaps the best corner infield combination in the majors in Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. In Iowa, he's hit at a.266 clip with 12 home runs and 52 RBIs.

MLBPipeline.com has Candelario rated as the top prospect in the Cubs' minor-league system. But on the other hand, we've really protected that core of players that are in the big leagues, a deep core of super-talented players who are young and who we control for a long time. With the Tigers, he'll also have a shot at DH. The Cubs signed him in June 2016.

The Chicago Cubs clearly wanted to improve their team in two specific spots prior to the 2017 Major League Baseball trade deadline; the bullpen and backup catcher.

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