Less than a week ago, the Cubs designated RHP James Norwood for assignment. On Monday, the Cubs flipped Norwood to San Diego for RHP Dauris Valdez.
Norwood had a cup of coffee with the Cubs in each of the last three seasons. He pitched in 11, nine, and three games in 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively. Norwood was 0-2 with the Cubs in three seasons, pitching to a 4.50 ERA in 22 innings pitched. The St. Louis University product never found a home in the Cubs’ rotation or bullpen, insisting a change of scenery could be beneficial.
Valdez is a 6-foot-8, 254 pound prospect. He spent four seasons in the Padres’ minor league system, pitching to a 8-9 record, 3.97 ERA, and nearly 200 innings pitched. Valdez has mainly been used as a relief pitcher, only starting 12 of the 122 games he’s appeared in. Over that time, Valdez has struck out 245 batters, while only walking 83 batters across various levels. He last pitched in Double-A for the Padres in 2019.
The 25-year-old prospect has closing experience as well, converting 13-of-15 save opportunities back in 2018 at Advanced-A ball. The Cubs may see a lot of upside in Valdez, and by working with him in their state of the art pitching lab, the Cubs could find a gem in the rough.
Valdez has also thrown 100 on the radar gun in his minor league time.
The Cubs play the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field on Monday night. Trevor Williams takes the mound for the Cubs, with the Brewers trotting out left-hander Brett Anderson. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PM CDT.