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Tigers trade Nicholas Castellanos to Chicago Cubs

Castellanos was dealt right at the 4:00 p.m. trade deadline on Wednesday.

Detroit Tigers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Right as the figurative buzzer sounded on Wednesday’s 4 p.m. MLB trade deadline, the Detroit Tigers traded Nicholas Castellanos to the Chicago Cubs, the team announced on Wednesday afternoon.

In return, the Tigers will receive right-handed pitchers Paul Richan and Alex Lange. Richan, the No. 16 prospect in the Cubs’ system according to MLB Pipeline, was a second round pick in 2018. He has racked up 86 strikeouts in 93 innings at High-A. His best pitch is a slider that sits in the low 80s. His fastball, which sits from 89-93 miles per hour (per Pipeline), isn’t overpowering, but he commands it well. He is more of a back-of-the-rotation arm, but one that projects as a high floor prospect.

Lange was a bit more of a boom-or-bust type when the Cubs took him at the back of the first round in 2017. The former LSU product has struggled at times, but he pairs a mid-90s fastball with a power curveball that many scouts believe is his best pitch. Between command issues and a max effort delivery, Lange projects as more of a bullpen arm than someone who will stick in the rotation.

The Cubs have been interested in Castellanos for a while to help bolster their struggling outfield. Right fielder Jason Heyward is enjoying a fine season, but center fielder Albert Almora has struggled, with just a 71 OPS+ in 101 games played. The Cubs will now be able to slide Heyward over to center field and plug Castellanos into right. Castellanos will also help against left-handed heavy teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers should the Cubs continue on and make the playoffs.

At first glance, this is a solid return for Castellanos, who will be a free agent at the end of the 2019 season. Neither Richan nor Lange is a future star, but both have a reasonable chance to develop into solid role players at the MLB level.