After getting designated for assignment over the weekend, Matt Szczur has a new home.
The Cubs traded the outfielder Monday to the San Diego Padres in exchange for minor league pitcher Justin Hancock.
While the Cubs loved having Szczur around and praised his credentials as a great teammate, it was not easy finding playing time for the 27-year-old former fifth-round pick. Joe Maddon called the decision to designate Szczur, who was out of minor league options, "excruciating" after Saturday's game.
Szczur appeared in 202 games for the Cubs over four seasons, posting a .243 batting average while hitting eight home runs and driving in 40 runs. This season, he had four hits in 19 at-bats with a trio of RBIs.
He posted this farewell message to his social-media accounts:
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It has truly has been an honor to grow up in the @cubs organization over the past seven years and was able to be a part of such an amazing time in Chicago history. Thank you to the @cubs for being my family. Thank you to the fans for always supporting me. Chicago is a special place, and the @cubs will always hold a special place in my heart. Excited to start this new chapter of my career with the @padres!!!!
Hancock, meanwhile, has yet to make his major league debut. He's pitched in 116 minor league games, 90 of which have been starts, since being drafted by the Padres in the ninth round of the 2011 draft. In his career, he has a 24-29 record with a 3.91 ERA.
This season, Hancock has made 10 relief appearances with Double-A San Antonio and posted a 6.23 ERA.