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Chicago Clubs Swap Pitchers in Trade


Photo by Marquee Sports Network

Both the White Sox and the Cubs announced that they had reached an agreement to deal minor league righty Matt Thompson to the Sox in exchange for left-hander Bailey Horn. Before the trade was formally announced, Ken Rosenthal and Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reported on it. According to Sharma's report from last night, the Cubs are looking into trades involving pitchers from the back end of their 40-man roster to provide room for Cody Bellinger, who was just brought back.


The 26-year-old Horn will rejoin the team that first picked him in the 2020 fifth round of the draft. After spending some of the 2021 season pitching in the Sox system, he was moved to the Cubs slightly over a year after being chosen in return for experienced reliever Ryan Tepera. Given that he has since acquired Horn again, current Sox general manager Chris Getz evidently saw a lot to like in Horn when serving as the team's farm director in 2020–21.


Pitching out of the bullpen, Horn split the 2023 season between the Cubs' Double-A and Triple-A organizations, compiling a 4.21 ERA in 65 innings. A robust 28.7% of his opponents were fanned by him, but he had trouble controlling his command, walking batters at a 12.5% clip. This season, Baseball America placed him 28th out of all Cubs farmhands, praising his 94-96 mph fastball and two potentially above-average breaking pitches (a terrific slider and a strong curveball).


Horn also has a "violent arm action that yields well below-average control and significant injury risk," according to BA's assessment. Horn, who is back with the South Siders, will provide the Sox with a short-term bullpen option. He has only recently been added to the 40-man roster this summer, therefore he still has three minor league option years left. He has pitched only in relief during the previous two seasons.

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