Nathan Ray Seebeck - USA Today Sports
Nathan Ray Seebeck - USA Today Sports

Trade Breakdown: Cubs receive No. 7 Yankees prospect for Scott Effross


by - Senior Writer -

The last two seasons have not been kind to the Cubs when discussing the trade deadline. Not only did stars like Javy Baez, Anthony Rizzo, and Kris Bryant dealt last season, but more deals are coming for the Cubs in the coming days.

One of the teams that the Cubs have done historically well with when it comes to making deals is the New York Yankees, and that continues to be the case this season. After dealing Gleybar Torres and Billy McKinnie to the Yankees in 2016 for Aroldis Champman, the two sides got together last season, and Rizzo was sent to New York in exchange for Anderson Espinoza and Kevin Alcantara.

Espinoza has made a couple of big-league appearances this season. In contrast, Alcantara has risen to the top 5 in the Cubs prospect list and is second in the organization with 69 RBIs this season. As if that is not good enough, more Yankee enforcements are on the way as the Cubs have traded righty reliever Scott Efross to the Yankees in exchange for Hayden Wesneski.

Expected to make tons of moves over the next two days; this was one not talked about a whole lot, but a surprisingly great move. Since coming to the Cubs last season, the 28-year-old Effross has been very good, posting a 2.91 ERA in 61 games. That includes a 2.66 ERA in 47 games this season as Effross was one of the bullpens heroes every day.

Known for his deception over velocity, the sidearming Effross has averaged 10.4 K/9 innings this season and is about as good as you can get command-wise. He walked just 12 hitters in his career while striking out 68 and has played various roles in the Cubs pen.

Looking back at his minor league numbers, Effross was just as good where he went 23-13 with a 3.91 ERA while adding 16 saves. It is unclear what type of role Effross will play in the Yankees pen, but we do at the very least know that he will be able to perform any role they give him, which makes him so attractive.

Coming to the Cubs is another prospect that shouldn't be a surprise, but when you get a top 10 prospect for a guy like Effross, you have to consider this deal a significant win. Wesneski is now on his way to Chicago after reaching the No. 7 ranking in the Yankees system this season.

Drafted in the sixth round in the 2019 MLB draft, the 24-year-old has moved through the system in a hurry as he is currently stationed in AAA. Wesneski has posted an 18-14 mark for his career while posting a 3.84 ERA. His command is what stands out, however, as he has a total of 70 walks to nearly 270 strikeouts.

Wesneski put his name on center stage in 2019 when he went 11-6 with a 3.25 ERA that season. That earned him the promotion to AAA, where he is 6-7 with a respectable 3.51 ERA this year. Since being drafted, Wesneski has improved his fastball velocity, which now sits in the 92-94 MPH range. He has also added a four-seamer that has touched 98 so expect him to use that much more as he develops.

To go with that fastball comes an 83 MPH slider with an improved sweeping break and generates a ton of swings and misses. Like Adbert Alzolay, Wesneski can turn that slider into a cutter giving him an additional pitch without trying. Another thing he continues to do is improve his 84 MPH change-up, which he is hoping can become an effective pitch against left-handed hitters.

Wesneski pounded the strike zone throughout his college career and has continued to do so in pro ball, even as his stuff has made a leap forward. He's deceptive, too, and hitters don't get good swings against him and struggle to lift the ball when they do make contact.

His competitive nature is another thing that stands out and is a big reason why he has developed at the pace he has. I expect Wesneski to land in AAA Iowa immediately, where he will make a few starts. After that, and depending on what happens with some of the Cubs rotation arms, don't be surprised to see him making a few starts at Wrigley by season's end.

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