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.