Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers have been busy this offseason, already acquiring Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Tyler Glasnow, and Teoscar Hernández while also re-signing Joe Kelly and Jason Heyward.
However, that has created an even bigger roster crunch than the Dodgers already had. To add Yamamoto to their 40-man roster, the Dodgers designated Bryan Hudson for assignment before trading him to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Now with Hernández in the fold and more plans on the horizon, the Dodgers needed more 40-man spots. They have solved that need for the meantime by trading Michael Busch and Yency Almonte to the Chicago Cubs for prospects Jackson Ferris and Zyhir Hope, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN:
Full trade: The Chicago Cubs are acquiring third baseman Michael Busch and reliever Yency Almonte from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for a pair of toolsy teenaged prospects, left-handed starter Jackson Ferris and outfielder Zyhir Hope, sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 11, 2024
Ferris was selected by the Cubs in the second round of the 2022 MLB Draft and signed for $3 million. According to MLB Pipeline, he has three above-average pitches with a 60-grade fastball and 55-grade curveball and changeup.
He is ranked as the Cubs No. 8 prospect in a deep system, but at just 19-years-old he has a lot of room to grow and improve.
The left-hander stands 6’4 and touches 97 mph with his fastball, and his curveball has high spin rates that create a lot of movement.
An athletic pitcher, his mechanics need work, as do most young pitchers, but he has the stuff necessary to become a quality starter at the MLB level.
Hope is an outfielder who was drafted out of high school by the Cubs in the 11th round of the 2023 MLB Draft. He received an overslot bonus to pass on playing for the University of North Carolina.
Hope is not yet ranked, but he has the tools necessary to end up as a top-100 prospects down the line. He grades out with 80 speed and a plus glove.
The left-handed hitter also projects to have average to above-average power at the MLB level, but he still has a lot of swing and miss to his game.
Had he not been a college commit, Hope would have been selected much higher in the draft.
Dodgers trading Michael Busch and Yency Almonte
Busch has proven everything he needed to at the Minor League level but was unable to break through into the Dodgers lineup.
The deal allows him to get a chance to start on a daily basis.
Almonte previously signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers worth $1.9 million to avoid arbitration.
After becoming a key member of the Dodgers bullpen in 2022, Almonte dealt with injuries and became the odd man out in a crowded group.
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