According to Jon Morosi, the Cubs have traded for 26-year-old Boston Red Sox left-hander Felix Doubront:
In return the Cubs will send the Red Sox a player to be named later.
Doubront is in his last year before reaching arbitration and the Cubs will control his rights through the 2017 season. While Doubront has struggled mightily this season to the tune of a 6.07 ERA, this is the kind of low risk, high reward move the Cubs front office has become known for.
A season ago Doubront had a 4.32 ERA and 3.78 FIP in 162.1 innings for the Red Sox, proving to be a reliable back-end starter in the American League. The year before, Doubront struck out 167 batters in 161 innings for the Red Sox, although his ERA sat at 4.86 with a 4.37 FIP due to an inflated 1.34 HR/9. Although his home run rate came back down to earth at 0.72 in 2013, it has again climbed up to a horrific 1.52 HR/9 this season.
While the amount of home runs allowed by Doubront has fluctuated, one wart that will not go away is a below average walk rate that has settled at 3.9+ BB/9 each of the last three seasons. Doubront has relied less on his fastball this year, using it 56 percent of the time down from 63 percent a season ago and also features a cutter (14 percent), curveball (12 percent) and a changeup (18 percent). According to Fan Graphs, the only one of these pitches that has returned positive value this season has been the changeup, which has typically been the case throughout Doubront’s career.
Doubront is without a doubt a project and there are no guarantees that he can be a productive pitcher for the Cubs, much less a reliable starting pitcher. However, with multiple years of team control left before he reaches free agency, the Cubs have once again acquired a low-risk arm with the potential to become a productive piece of the next contending team.
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