Chicago Cubs: 3 trade packages to acquire leadoff hitter

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Los Angeles Angels, David Fletcher

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

3. David Fletcher, Angels

Cubs Get
IF/OF, David Fletcher
Angels Get
RHP, Tyson Miller
RHP, Oscar De La Cruz

David Fletcher might be one of the biggest unknown surprises in baseball. The former 2015 sixth-round draft pick made his Major League debut on June 13, 2018, and has done nothing but get on base. He’s not a guy that’s going to hit for a lot of power but at just 25-years-old, Fletcher is already proving to be a hot commodity at the top of the lineup. He’s primarily hit in either the leadoff spot or the two hole but batting first, Fletcher has a career 0.294/0.354/0.409 line with 26 doubles, 3 triples, 5 home runs, and 25 RBI.

What’s also great about Fletcher is that he’s essentially played every position the Angels have asked him to. He primarily played third base in 2019 but also saw 42 games at second base, 39 at shortstop, and 23 in the outfield. With the Cubs, he would likely find a permanent home in the outfield where he had a perfect fielding percentage in 154.2 innings this season. Fletcher is under contract through the 2024 season as well.

The Angels are loaded with position players, particularly the outfield as they boast the league’s fifth-best prospect in Jo Adell. What they lack and desperately need to become a competitive team again is pitching. Their rotation finished with the sixth-worst ERA (5.12) last season. They’ll need an upgrade and could get a guy who is close to being promoted in Tyson Miller. The big righty cruised through the minors leagues but ran into a bit of a hiccup for the Triple-A squad.

In 11 starts, Miller posted a 7.58 ERA in 48.2 innings of work while striking out 43 batters but his command faltered a bit, which deviated from the norm. But it looked like he was fatigued down the stretch, so he should be ready to roll in 2020. I also have Oscar De La Cruz going to the Angels in the deal. The 24-year-old righty was banned 80 games for testing positive for a banned substance in 2018.

De La Cruz began the season in the rotation but ended up coming out of the bullpen where he had much better results. In 23 appearances from the ‘pen, he posted a 3.86 ERA in 37.1 innings of work while striking out 49 batters compared to 39 batters in 44.0 innings as a starter. The Angels bullpen ranked 11th worst in baseball with a 4.64 ERA so they could certainly use a boost.

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