Cubs

Brewers make big trade, acquire former Padres top prospect Luís Urias

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USA TODAY

Brewers make big trade, acquire former Padres top prospect Luís Urias

The Brewers and Padres have made a big trade.

Wednesday, the Brewers acquired infielder Luís Urias and starter Eric Lauer from the Padres in exchange for starter Zach Davies and outfielder Trent Grisham.

Urias is the key to the deal for the Brewers. The 22-year-old holds a career .308/.397/.433 (.830 OPS) slash line in six minor league seasons and entered 2019 as the No. 16 prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com.

That success hasn’t translated to the big leagues yet — Urias holds a .221/.318/.331 (.649 OPS) line in 83 career games, 71 of which came in 2019. This is an incredibly small sample size, however, and moving out of pitcher-friendly Petco Park will bode well for Urias.

Urias can play shortstop and second base, but he will play the former with the Brewers. Keston Hiura — .303/.368/.570 (.938 OPS), 19 home runs in 2019 — will continue manning second for Milwaukee. If he continues to hit, and Urias hits like he did in the minor leagues, the Brewers will have one formidable middle infield combination for the foreseeable future. The Brewers are hoping Urias will be an upgrade over Orlando Arcia — .223/.283/.350 (.633 OPS), 14 errors in 2019 — both offensively and defensively.

Trading away Davies is curious. The right-hander posted a 3.55 ERA in 31 starts in 2019, leading the Brewers with 155 2/3 innings pitched. The Brewers rotation has been their biggest weakness in recent seasons, and Davies was a mainstay in that group since 2016.

Davies is arbitration eligible through 2021, while Lauer is eligible through 2024. The latter holds a 2.93 ERA in 37 games (36 starts) across three minor league seasons. He holds a 4.40 ERA in 53 games (52 starts) in two big-league campaigns.

Grisham is infamous for making a key error in the 2019 NL Wild Card Game. He misplayed a single in right field with the bases loaded in the eighth inning, allowing three Nationals to score. Washington took a 4-3 lead — the game’s final score.

Grisham can play all three outfield spots and combined to hit 32 home runs in 2019 (six in MLB). He was the Brewers’ fourth outfielder but will have an opportunity to start with the Padres.

In other news, the Padres signed former Brewers swingman Drew Pomeranz, according to Rosenthal. The left-hander joined the Brewers from the Giants at the trade deadline and posted a 2.39 ERA in 25 games (one start). MLB Insider Robert Murray reported that the deal is four years and worth $34 million.

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Cubs Talk Podcast: Cubs convention will feel different this year

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Cubs convention will feel different this year

Jeff Nelson, Tim Stebbins, and Tony Andracki fill in for host David Kaplan as they discuss how different this year's Cubs convention will be compared to previous years and how awkward it will be for Kris Bryant and other players who could be traded before the season. They also get into baseball's cheating issue, and Tony Andracki makes a huge announcement.

(1:08) - Different feel at Cubs Con

(3:10) - Cubs putting Kris Bryant in an awkward spot

(4:44) - Anthony Rizzo says he might not be a Cub long term

(6:33) - How will Cubs fans show displeasure at Cubs Con

(10:24) - What will it take for Sammy Sosa to be accepted by the Cubs

(13:54) - Baseball's cheating scandal is spreading

(20:07) - Tony Andracki's BIG announcement

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Subscribe: Apple/iPhone | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Art 19

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Cubs grant Astros permission to interview Will Venable for managerial opening

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USA TODAY

Cubs grant Astros permission to interview Will Venable for managerial opening

In the wake of their infamous sign-stealing scandal, the Astros could look to the North Side to fill their suddenly vacant managerial seat.

According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cubs have granted the Astros permission to interview Will Venable for manager.

MLB conducted a thorough investigation into a report from The Athletic stating the Astros electronically stole signs during their 2017 championship season. The findings resulted in general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch receiving year-long suspensions Monday before the Astros subsequently fired both from their respective posts.

RELATED: David Ross and Anthony Rizzo react to Astros cheating scandal, subsequent fallout

Venable joined the Cubs in September 2017 as a special assistant in the front office. He joined the on-field staff as first base coach in 2018, a position he held through last season. The 37-year-old also spent time as third base coach when Brian Butterfield dealt with health issues in 2019.

The Cubs named Venable third base coach this offseason following Butterfield’s departure to Joe Maddon’s Angels. Prior to that, Venable interviewed for the Cubs’ managerial opening — which went to David Ross — as well as the Giants’ opening, which went to former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.

The Astros have already reportedly interviewed Buck Showalter for manager and are set to meet with John Gibbons, too.

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