Cubs acquire OF Nick Castellanos from Tigers, 2B Tony Kemp from Astros at trade deadline
The Cubs sent recently acquired backup catcher Martin Maldonado to Houston in the deal for the versatile Kemp, who was DFA’d last week. Castellanos gives the Cubs a weapon against left-handers.
ST. LOUIS — The Cubs added two hitters at Wednesday’s trade deadline, including Tigers outfielder Nick Castellanos, who addresses a major weakness this season against left-handed pitching.
According to reports, Castellanos was acquired for pitching prospects Alex Lange, a former first-round pick, and Paul Richan. Richan was 10-5 with a 3.97 ERA in 17 starts for high-A Myrtle Beach.
The Cubs also acquired Astros second baseman Tony Kemp in exchange for recently acquired backup catcher Martin Maldonado.
And struggling reliever Carl Edwards Jr. was sent to the Padres in a change-of-scenery move for the hard-throwing right-hander.
The right-handed hitting Castellanos has hit .347 against lefties in 82 plate appearances this year, with a 1.026 OPS.
Kemp, who was designated for assignment last week when the Astros activated Carlos Correa from the injured list, is hitting just .227 with a .725 OPS.
In addition to second base, Kemp has made seven starts in left field and nine in center.
The Cubs sent recently acquired backup catcher Martin Maldonado to the Astros in the deal.
The Cubs have struggled to get any production out of the second base position all season, ranking sixth in the league in OPS (.681) there.
Off-season acquisition Daniel Descalso, another left-handed hitter, has struggled since early in the season and recently went on the injured list with a lingering ankle injury. Former All-Star shortstop Addison Russell, who lost his shortstop job to Javy Baez during his domestic violence suspension, also struggled since returning from the suspension in May.
Kemp, 27, had a .351 on-base percentage last year in a career-high 295 plate appearances.
It’s the third low-level/depth addition the Cubs have made in the last six days, acquiring lefty reliever Derek Holland for $1 from the Giants on Friday and right-handed reliever David Phelps from the Blue Jays for pitching prospect Thomas Hatch on Tuesday.
This year’s lone trade deadline is at 3 p.m. Wednesday.