The Cubs announced today that they have acquired left-handed reliever Giovanni Soto from the Indians in exchange for cash considerations. Cleveland had designated the 24-year-old southpaw for assignment last week. Kyle Schwarber has been transferred to the 60-day DL in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
Soto, of course, is not to be confused by the catcher of the same (but differently spelled) name that won 2008 Rookie of the Year honors in a Cubs uniform. This Soto was a 21st-round pick by the Tigers in the 2009 draft that was ultimately traded to the Indians in exchange for Jhonny Peralta back in 2010. The Puerto Rican lefty made his big league debut with Cleveland last season, logging 3 1/3 scoreless innings without a walk or strikeout. Soto has posted very strong ERA marks throughout his minor league career, but he has struggled with his control in at the Triple-A level, averaging 5.5 walks (and 8.5 strikeouts) per nine innings to go along with a 3.03 ERA. Soto was tough on both lefties and righties last season, although in 2014 he posted a much more traditional platoon split.
The Cubs have optioned Soto to Triple-A Iowa, so he’ll serve as a depth piece for the team right now. Chicago already has two lefties — Clayton Richard and Travis Wood — in its Major League bullpen, to say nothing of lefty reliever C.J. Riefenhauser’s presence on the 40-man roster.