Following a night of rumors Tuesday, the Cubs officially acquired closer Wade Davis from the Royals for outfielder Jorge Soler on Wednesday. Both teams have announced the trade, so it's a done deal. It's a straight one-for-one trade.
Davis, 31, saved 27 games with a 1.87 ERA in 43 1/3 innings around a forearm injury in 2016. He struck out 47. Davis owns a 1.18 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in 182 2/3 total innings since moving back into the bullpen full-time three years ago. He also closed out Kansas City's 2015 World Series clincher.
It's worth noting the forearm injury likely made the medical review process something more than a formality. The Cubs are comfortable with Davis' medicals, obviously, and the trade went through.
The bullpen trade market has exploded over the last 14 months or so, which makes getting Davis for Soler pretty impressive. The Cubs gave up four players, including top prospect Gleyber Torres, to acquire Chapman as a midseason rental. They traded only one player for one full season Davis, who will be a free agent next offseason.
Soler, 24, has struggled with inconsistency in his MLB career. He's a career .258/.328/.434 (107 OPS+) hitter with 27 home runs in 211 games. Interestingly enough, he's not the kind of player we've seen the Royals employ in recent years. Soler strikes out a bunch (27.6 percent in 2016) and he's not good defensively.
Since it's a straight one-for-one swap, either the Cubs are really worried about Davis' medicals or the Royals really like Soler. My guess is the latter. We've seen other relievers, like Chapman and Andrew Miller, traded for much larger packages recently.
Still, getting a 24-year-old outfielder with four years of team control and star caliber tools is a nice return for one year of a reliever, even one as good as Davis. I'm a bit surprised the Royals didn't wait until Chapman and Kenley Jansen signed to trade Davis, however. They might have been able to create a bidding war.