Tommy La Stella Traded to Angels for Cash or PTBNL

The Cubs announced Thursday afternoon that pinch hitter extraordinaire Tommy La Stella has been traded to the Los Angeles Angels for either a player to be named later or cash considerations. La Stella was in his second year of arbitration eligibility and was expected to earn from $1.2-1.8 million. This move frees up a roster spot on both the 25- and 40-man rosters (which now stands at 39) and gives the Cubs a little more flexibility.

As Cubs Insider predicted back in August, the emergence of David Bote as a cheaper, defensively superior, bench player made La Stella expendable. Further hastening La Stella’s departure was Wednesday’s addition of Ronald Torreyes, which gave the Cubs a versatile infielder whose primary position is second base and who boasts a solid hit tool. What’s more, Torreyes is expected to earn less than La Stella while also having a minor league option remaining.

Now the big question is who will bring the bounce house to Arizona in La Stella’s absence? Kidding aside, La Stella had been described by some as the heartbeat of the clubhouse and he had become something of a team leader in the time since going AWOL following a minor league option.


Moshe Wilensky

Moshe is a weekly columnist, and self-styled financial reporter, for Cubs Insider. Moshe is a Chicago native who first fell for the Cubs in 1984 at age 7. He currently resides in Charlotte, NC where he gleefully watched the Cubs’ 2016 run, interrupted only by the birth of his first daughter on Thursday AC 0000108. He can be reached at

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  1. Torreyes trade signaled the end of LaStella especially with Bote taking over TL’s role. I know the brain trust has more to do, I would certainly think so. Schwarber will be traded no doubt. Hello Michael Brantley. Our new lead off guy.

  2. Well, I can only hope and expect that this move will make more sense somewhere down the road with hindsight. Even if LaSetlla got $1.8 in ARB, there’s no more than $1.2 in savings if you replace him with the league minimum. Torreyes seems like he can hit, although he’s only got 615 ABs spread over 4 years. From a 1:1 perspective, I would have rather they kept dancing with the player they knew.

  3. I figured the Angels would be a trading partner, I was just hoping for a bigger deal. I think the Cubs could have offered Russell, Montgomery and LaStella for Simmons and a power arm like Rodriguez and/or Soriano. The Cubs would find a home for Russell, open up 40 man slots and upgrade at SS…while pushing Javy back to his best position. Man, this could have been a win!

    1. I also don’t see Torreyes making the team, unless as a place holder for a suspended Russell. I believe Bote would fill that void.

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