We knew there would be some roster shuffling across the league and we have a pretty good feeling it would involve some Cubs prospects. I can’t say this is the route that was expected, but the Cubs came together this afternoon with the Tampa Bay Rays on a trade to acquire another high-contact infielder.

Making his way to Chicago is utilityman (and the brother of a former Cubs farmhand) Miles Mastrobuoni. A profile and storyline that somewhat resembles that of Zack McKinstry, Mastrobuoni has recorded plenty of success at the minor league level, recording a batting average of at least .292 in every relevant stop since 2019. In 129 Triple-A games this season, he posted a measly 16.6% strikeout rate while walking right around league-average rates at 11%.

A true utility man in every sense of the word, Mastrobuoni logged games at second, third, shortstop, left, center, right, and DH this season and struggled in just 6 short games at the Major League level. The 26 year old has minor league options remaining and feels like another complimentary piece for the big league squad.

Going back to the Rays is electric reliever Alfredo Zarraga. Popping onto peoples’ radars this year, including that of even the biggest of prospect nerds, the righty reliever posted 18.2 innings between Myrtle Beach and South Bend this season. His numbers were terrific in that limited sample size both on the surface and under the hood…

1.93 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, .164 average against, 37.7% strikeout rate, 31.4% CSW

Zarraga just feels like a Rays player — breaking out later in his amateur career, closing experience in the minors, nasty stuff that could break out in a big way.

But the logic here for the Cubs front office is likely that they are adding a Major League-ready talent in Mastrobuoni while parting ways with a player who is already a reliever in the lower minors while the bullpen is a position of strength in this current development team.