Someone check on P-Town Tom and make sure he's okay - the Chicago Cubs have just traded the Dan "the Vogelmonster" Vogelbach to the Seattle Mariners for lefty reliever Mike Montgomery.
The Cubs bullpen has had some pretty some rough spots over the last month or so and has been in need of reinforcement. Additionally, the struggling Clayton Richard has been unable to hold down the lefty-specialist spot; plus, Joel Peralta and Gerardo Concepcion have already come and gone, having failed their auditions. In short, the Cubs going out and getting a southpaw with upside is hardly a surprise.
As far as LOOGYs go, Montgomery is a pretty good get. The former first-round selection by the Royals in 2008 has posted a .164 batting average against lefties in 67 at bats.
Scan swiped from COMC
What is mildly-jarring is the inclusion of the man, the myth, the Vogelbach. The young masher has long been blocked in the Cubs system, being defensively limited to first base (Anthony Rizzo ain't goin' anywhere) and is in the midst of a breakout season at AAA. 'Bach has cracked 16 homers and posted a .318/.425/.548 slash at Iowa, proving definitively that he's ready for a go at the Bigs.
It's long been accepted that he'd be dealt, likely to an American League team who could stick him at DH and let him focus on crushing baseballs. However, it was also hoped that he might be part of a package for a larger addition, owing to his top prospect status.
On the flip-side of the coin, everyone who matters knows that Vogelbach was blocked with Chicago and, thus, their leverage was severely limited. Not to mention the fact that, despite all of his promise, Dan is still defensively-limited and unproven - we baseball fans have a tendency to overvalue our prospects.
We're always glomming onto the latest shiny, new prospect.
(Symbolism with Bowman, brought to you by WRJ)
Nevertheless, it's kind of hard for us Cubs fans like P-Town and I not to feel mildly disappointed. After all, we all secretly hoped he find a way to sneak onto the Major League roster and show off his stuff in the Windy City, maybe as a September call-up or as a temporary DH for an AL road trip, a la Kyle Schwarber last year. I know that I'm a bit bummed that Vogelbach will not earn a spot in my Cubs All-Time Roster Collection.
Anyway, welcome to Chicago Mr. Montgomery, here's hoping you provide some stability to a shaky, at times, bullpen. A left-hander who gets outs has been a rare bird on this side of town for a while now. Also, as you might have noticed, I had to borrow a scan of a Montgomery card from COMC; does anyone have an extra card of the guy they'd be willing to send my way for my CATRC binder? I'll definitely make it worth your while!
First Rock Shoulders is released and now Dan Vogelbach is traded... seriously, is anyone close to Peoria?
Hey - supposedly these guys are getting back together!
Some more information trickling in now - turns out there are a few more pieces changing hands in the deal. That said, the names are rather minor and don't change the complexion of the deal in any meaningful way.
The Cubs will be be sending farmhand Paul Blackburn to the Emerald City, along with Vogelbach. The talented starter is chock full o'potential and, like Montogmery, was also a first round draft pick in 2012. Unfortunately, he just can't stay healthy and has missed time in nearly all of his minor league campaigns. Also, Paul is set to become Rule V eligible once the season ends, so they needed to do something with him.
Coming to Chicago is another AAA pitcher, this one by the name of Jordan Pries. Jordan has been making a slow and steady climb up the minor league ladder since being taken in the 30th round in that same 2012 draft. He doesn't appear to be seen as much of a prospect and will likely serve as minor league depth.
Two more cards that I don't have - in fact, Pries has never been included in a mainstream set.