CHICAGO -- A flurry of trades and roster moves with injured players are reshaping the first-place Chicago Cubs. They acquired two left-handed relievers and two right-handed hitters over the span of 36 hours before the MLB trade deadline.
Lefties Andrew Chafin and Josh Osich were brought in from Arizona and Boston, respectively, on Monday, for two players to be named later or cash considerations. Outfielder Cameron Maybin was acquired from Detroit for prospect Zach Short and designated hitter Jose Martinez was a Sunday addition from Tampa Bay.
"Left-handed relief and right-handed hitters that could hit left-handed pitching were the two main goals we had for the deadline," general manager Jed Hoyer said Monday. "We tried to address things we haven't done particularly well. That was a real focus."
The Cubs rank 23rd in OPS against left-handed pitching this season while their bullpen has had only one reliable lefty, Kyle Ryan, until the Monday trades. Chafin is on the injured list so he won't be ready to join the team just yet.
To make room for Maybin, the Cubs are optioning one of their 2016 World Series heroes, Albert Almora Jr., to their alternate site in South Bend, Indiana.
"A veteran player like Cam Maybin is used to coming off the bench and pinch hitting, often those players fit better," Hoyer said.
Almora has steadily declined at the plate over the past few seasons, going just 5-for-30 this year before being sent down. Maybin is 10-for-41 but has struck out 13 times.
"It's going to be a little while," Hoyer said. "We're hopeful he's back this year. Largely good news with the MRI."