With much of the focus as the trade deadline approaches being on the big names, it is worth mentioning that a lot of the trades that happen are minor ones that solidify roster depth and trim roster fat.
That is pretty much what we have here with the deal that the Cubs and Astros struck this afternoon.
Utilityman Tony Kemp is headed to the Chicago Cubs from Houston in exchange for Martín Maldonado, a source tells ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 31, 2019
For the Cubs, they get utility player Tony Kemp who had already been DFAed by the Astros about a week ago. The Astros didn’t have a need for his services and the Cubs have, for a while now, put a significant amount of value on guys that can play multiple positions although Kemp’s bat isn’t exactly going to scare opposing pitchers.
As for Maldonado, he gives the Astros some needed depth at catcher. A fun fact about him is that the Astros already acquired him once before as he went to Houston in July last season. It looks like Houston was impressed enough by him that they felt the urge to bring him back for yet another playoff run.