Michael Bush traded Yency Almonte to the Cubs from the Dodgers

CHICAGO — In their quest to build a team capable of returning to the postseason, the Cubs are balancing strengthening their future with meeting immediate needs. They accomplished both in the trade with the Dodgers on Thursday.

The Cubs announced that they have acquired infielder Michael Bush (ranked No. 44 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Players list) and right-handed reliever Yency Almonte from the Dodgers. Chicago sent pitching prospect Jackson Ferris and outside prospect Zyheir Hope to Los Angeles to complete the trade.

To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, catcher Brian Servin was designated for assignment by the Cubs.

Trade details
Cubs Get: 3B Michael Bush (No. 2 Dodgers), RHP Yency Almonte
Dodgers Acquire: LHP Jackson Ferris (Cubs No. 8), from Zaire Haub

In Bush, Chicago lands a powerful left-handed bat, who checked in as the Dodgers' No. 2 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, and got his first taste of the Majors last year. The 29-year-old Almonte is a veteran of six MLB seasons and gives the Cubs a piece to add to a bullpen in need of reinforcements.

Pipeline called Bush “one of the best all-around offensive prospects” in the 2019 draft class, which saw the Dodgers select him 31st overall in the first round. There were questions about where the prospect would find a home on the diamond, and he has bounced around the field in his minor league career.

In 98 games for Oklahoma City's Triple-A team last season, Bush hit .323 with 27 homers, 26 doubles and 90 RBI. His .618 slugging percentage ranked fourth among all qualified minor league hitters, while his 1.049 OPS ranked seventh. Bush also showed strong discipline at the plate, posting a strikeout rate of 18.8% to go along with a walk rate of 13.9%. He has a career .919 OPS in the minors.

The question the Dodgers have been trying to answer — and which will now be the Cubs' job — is to figure out where Bush will best fit. He has spent most of his minor league career at second base, but has mostly shifted to third in 2023. Bush is also capable of playing first base and has tested out in left field.

In order to land such a popular hitter in Busch, the Cubs had to part with Ferris, who ranked eighth on Pipeline's top 30 list for the club. Ferris, who turns 20 on Monday, was a second-round pick out of IMG Academy in the 2022 draft and had a solid professional debut with Single-A Myrtle Beach last year (3.38 ERA with 77 strikeouts in 56 innings).

Hope, who turns 19 on Jan. 19, was an 11th-round pick by the Cubs in last summer's draft. He played 11 games in the Arizona Complex League last year, bouncing between all three infield positions while posting a .962 OPS.

In 196 career games in the Majors with the Rockies and Dodgers, Almonte has a 4.51 ERA. After rolling a 1.02 ERA in 33 games in 2022, the right-hander had a 5.06 ERA in 49 games last year, striking out 49 and 24 walks in 48 innings. Almonte sits at around 95-96 mph with his fastball (sinker and four-seamer), but his arsenal has been led by a sweeper (50.1% usage) in 2023.

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