Just ahead of Wednesday’s 4 PM ET trade deadline, the Cubs acquired outfielder Nicholas Castellanos from the Tigers, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The Tigers will receive pitching prospects Paul Richan and Alex Lange from the Cubs.
Castellanos, 27, has hit a solid .273/.328/.462 with 11 home runs and 37 RBI in 439 plate appearances this season. The rate stats are a bit down from where they’ve been in the last three seasons, but he’s still swinging an above-average stick.
Castellanos is owed the remainder of his $9.95 million salary and can become a free agent after the 2019 season, so this is likely just a rental for the Cubs.
Richan, 22, is the Cubs’ No. 16 prospect, per MLB Pipeline. Lange, 23, is No. 23.
Freddie Freeman‘s elbow began barking in the second half of the season and he was a shadow of himself in the month of September. The Braves rested him for half a minute in the season’s final week but he still played 158 games in 2019. They said he was good to go for the NLDS but he was clearly limited, going 4-for-22 in the Braves’ series loss to the Cardinals.
Today the Braves announced that Freeman underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on Wednesday. The team said today that the procedure involved the removal of three fragmented loose bodies and the cleaning up of multiple bone spur formations.
It’s not clear if more rest down the stretch would’ve made a difference for him — and it’s not clear that the Braves had options at first base for the postseason that were substantially better than even a limited Freeman — but it’s clear that not having Freeman feeling like himself in the heart of the order was a problem.
Freeman is expected to be good-to-go for spring training.