The Cubs have acquired left-hander Mike Montgomery and right-hander Jordan Pries from the Mariners for minor-league first baseman Dan Vogelbach and right-hander Paul Blackburn. The deal was first reported by Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports and ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian.
The move represents a swap of long-term assets for both clubs, as both Montgomery and Vogelbach are under club control for the foreseeable future. The Cubs, on the lookout for bullpen help, have been linked to high-end names like Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. They instead opted to acquire Montgomery, who is under control through the 2021 season and has experience as a starter.
Montgomery, 27, has been excellent in relief for Seattle this season, posting a 2.34 ERA in 61.2 innings of work. He will join lefties Travis Wood and Clayton Richard in the Cubs’ bullpen, and is Chicago’s first trade deadline addition.
Montgomery is a former top prospect who was the Royals’ first-round pick in 2008 and has now been traded three times in his career— from the Royals to the Rays in 2012, from the Rays to the Mariners in 2015, and from the Mariners to the Cubs today.
Pries, 26, was Seattle’s 30th-round pick in the 2011 draft and has posted a 5.14 ERA in 20 appearances (12 starts) split between Double-A Jackson and Triple-A Tacoma so far this season. He is not ranked among the Mariners’ top 30 prospects, according to MLB.com.
Vogelbach, 23, has never appeared in the majors and has long been considered a likely candidate to be dealt to an American League team due to his below-average defensive play. The former 2nd-rounder has hit .318/.425/.548 with 16 home runs in 89 games for Triple-A Iowa so far this season, and will give the Mariners a long-term DH option in place of Adam Lind, who may be traded before August 1.
Vogelbach has hit at every level, but is ranked as the 20th-best prospect in the Cubs’ strong system by MLB.com due to his limited defensive ability and lack of athleticism.
Blackburn, 22, was the 56th overall pick four years ago and is not ranked by MLB.com as one of the club’s top 30 prospects. He has made 18 starts for Double-A Tennessee so far this year, pitching to a 3.17 ERA in 102.1 innings.