Cubs Welcome Trachsel Back

The Deal
Steve Trachsel broke into the majors with the Cubs and won 60 games for Chicago from 1993-99. Now he's coming home again, as the Cubs added him for the stretch drive in a Thursday trade with the Orioles. In return, Baltimore received a pair of Triple-A players, third baseman/outfielder Scott Moore and righthander Rocky Cherry. Nov. 5 update: The deal had a condition that provided Baltimore with a third prospect if Chicago made the playoffs, so the Cubs sent righthander Jake Renshaw to the Orioles as well.
The Big Leaguers
A 36-year-old righthander, Trachsel relies more on his veteran wiles than stuff at this point of his career. He has been effective as of late, posting a 2.37 ERA in six August starts to improve his season record to 6-8, 4.48 in 25 outings. He has a unsightly 45-69 K-BB ratio in 141 innings (including an 8-18 K-BB in 38 August frames), while opponents are batting .279 with 16 homers against him. Trachsel signed a one-year $3.1 million contract as a free agent last offseason, and the deal includes a $4.75 million club option for 2008. His career mark is 140-151, 4.29 in 406 games.
The Prospects
Moore, 23, was the eighth overall pick in the 2002 draft out of a California high school, but he struggled mightily until joining the Cubs in a February 2005 trade for Kyle Farnsworth. Moore has above-average power to go with decent speed and athletic ability. He's an average defender at third base and he moves well enough that he got some time in left field, as Chicago tried to figure out what to do with him blocked by Aramis Ramirez. Moore batted .265/.373/.526 with 19 homers and 69 RBIs in 103 games at Triple-A Iowa this year. He has hit .233/.283/.419 with two homers and five RBIs in 43 at-bats over 18 big league games during the past two seasons.

Cherry, 28, was a 14th-round pick out of Oklahoma in 2002. He battled elbow problems with the Sooners and during his first pro seasons before having Tommy John surgery. Once healthy, he has shown a 92-93 mph sinker and a plus slider that give him the chance to be a useful late-inning reliever. Cherry made his big league debut this season, going 1-1, 3.00 in 12 appearances. He has spent most of the year at Iowa, where he has posted a 2-0, 4.59 mark with seven saves in 43 games. He has a 56-18 K-BB ratio in 51 innings at Triple-A, where opponents hit .250 with five homers against him.

Renshaw, 21, was a 10th-round pick in 2006 out of Ventura (Calif.) JC. In his first full pro season, he went 12-8, 4.33 in 23 games (22 starts) at low Class A Peoria. He had a 96-42 K-BB ratio, .263 opponent average and 12 homers allowed in 112 innings. Renshaw deceives hitters with a funky delivery and works mainly with a three-pitch mix that includes an 88-92 mph fastball, a solid curveball and a developing changeup.

Quick Take
The Cubs haven't announced whose spot Trachsel will take in the rotation, but Sean Marshall, who has faded badly in August, is the obvious candidate. Neither Moore nor Cherry were going to get the opportunity to play much of a role in Chicago, and they should get more of a chance with the Orioles. Getting Renshaw was a nice addition for Baltimore, which had little use for Trachsel in the future.

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