According to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, the Brewers have agreed to a deal with the White Sox for closer Joakim Soria, who had been speculated as a potential fit for the Cubs.
Source: Brewers getting Joakim Soria.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 26, 2018
Feinsand also reports the White Sox are receiving former first-round pick Kodi Medeiros and another arm in Wilber Perez, you can read Vinnie Duber's story for more details on the trade.
Source: LHP Kodi Medeiros and RHP Wilber Perez going to White Sox in Soria deal.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 26, 2018
The Brewer's already had one of the better bullpens in baseball, but like the Cubs, were searching for depth to avoid burning out their best arms before the postseason. The 34-year-old Soria will help bolster the backend of the Milwaukee bullpen while providing even more strikeouts - the Brewer's bullpen already ranked 4th overall in strikeouts.
For the Cubs, this move hurts in a few ways as they failed to acquire another bullpen target but they also lost out to a divisional foe - one that sits only 2.5 games back in the Central Division behind the Cubs. Now the pressure is on the Cubs to improve their pitching, whether it be a bullpen arm or another starter, to try and prevent their relievers from wearing down during the second half of the season.
With the majority of the market's larger trade chips already finding new homes, the Cubs will have to uncover talent without tipping teams off and creating a bidding war, similar to what happened with Zach Britton and the Yankees.
Some names to watch would be the Orioles right-handed reliever Brad Brach, who despite a rather poor 2018 season, hasn't had an ERA higher than 4.00 since 2011. Brach's glaring 4.85 ERA and 10.8% walk rate make him a concerning addition, but also means Baltimore's asking price may be at an all-time low, making the 32-year-old an interesting change of scenery candidate.
Another name would be Padres lefty Kirby Yates who is having easily the best season of his career at 31-years-old, sporting an impressive 1.40 ERA while striking out nearly 33% of the batters he's faced in 2018. The Padres' asking price on Yates is murky as reports have come out saying San Diego has been involved in trade talks for Noah Syndergaard and Chris Archer.
Yates also has two more years of team control via arbitration and only cost the Padres just over $1 mil this season, which is great news for the Cubs who are up against the luxury tax. But with Yates' two more years of control could also be used to squeeze a better prospect out of the deal.
The trade deadline is coming fast and with names being pulled off the market rapidly over the last 24 hours, the Cubs would best be served to work fast before the pitching market's talent dries up.