One-for-one deal works for Cubs and Royals

Wade Davis could make a big splash with the Cubs as he is one of the best closers in the big leagues when healthy. Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports

The Royals and Cubs made a rare one-for-one trade of current big leaguers, which I think emphasizes how important years of control are now for lower-payroll teams like Kansas City. The move keeps the Cubs out of the wildly overheated market for free-agent closers (compare Mark Melancon’s four-year deal) and gives them the flexibility to re-evaluate the ninth inning for 2018 if an internal option like Carl Edwards emerges.

Wade Davis has put together a Cy Young season for the ages over the past three years, with a combined 1.18 ERA/1.86 FIP in 182⅔ innings, 234 strikeouts, 59 walks and just three homers allowed. But his 2016 season was curtailed by two DL stints for a flexor tendon strain, a frequent precursor to more serious elbow problems.