Well, just as my previews of the Cub farm system get underway with Donald Veal, the Cubs go and trade one of my nine prospects to watch this year. If you haven’t heard by now, the deal with the Devil Rays, my second favorite bunch of losers, went down like this:

Cubs Send: Jae Kuk Ryu

Devil Rays Send: Andrew Lopez (OF) & Gregory Reinhard (RHP)


Here is a little info on the two new Cubs:

Andrew Lopez
Lopez was drafted in 2005 in the 8th round for the Devil Rays. He has played the last two partial seasons in the Appalachian League which is the Rays rookie league. In 2005, he looked really good, hitting .325 / .403 / .542 with 4 HR and 21 RBI in just 34 games. Unfortunately, they put him back in rookie ball last year and he took a step backward hitting .256 / .356 / .402 with 4 HR and 27 RBI in 56 games. An across the board drop doesn’t seem encouraging. I would imagine the Cubs will have to send him to Peoria. Can you really send him back to rookie ball for the third straight year? He’ll probably start the year with the Chiefs under Ryne Sandberg and his staff. I expect somewhere in the middle of those numbers over the past two years if he gets enough at bats.

Greg Reinhard
Reinhard went to the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, which is a school I’ve never heard of. Does that make him a turd? No, but it doesn’t make me love him any more. He spent his year in Class-A ball, which for a college pitcher who is 23 years old, is not very encouraging. Hopefully he’ll be pitching for the Tennessee Smokies this year in Class-AA ball.

Conclusion
This looks like a deal that was intended to increase future depth at the expense of a pitcher that is probably major league ready now. With our rotation spaces limited, Ryu was severely log jammed and being wasted. The Cubs seemed to want to get younger guys for the next few years. We’ll see how it goes. That being said, Ryu may have an outside chance at making the Rays rotation sometime this season.

Note from Mastrick:

This is yet another bad Jim Hendry trade, reminiscent of the Todd Walker trade. That is, we gave up something for nothing. As far as I’m concerned, same with the Maddux and Nevin trades. Hendry can sure spend some money but he’s no shrewd judge of talent. Da Coach said it best Hendry, who you crappin’?

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail