clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dodgers trade Michael Busch & Yency Almonte for Cubs prospects Jackson Ferris & Zyhir Hope

Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Thursday was a busy day for the Dodgers with the salary arbitration exchange deadline looming. But it was also a day to clear some room on the 40-man roster. Michael Busch was and reliever Yency Almonte were traded to the Cubs for pitcher Jackson Ferris and outfielder Zyhir Hope.

Juan Toribio of MLBcom was first to report the trade.

Neither minor leaguer from the Cubs are on the 40-man roster, with Ferris drafted in the second round in 2022 out of IMG Academy and Hope an 11th-round draft pick out of high school in Virginia in 2023. Ferris turns 20 on Monday, and Hope turns 19 next Friday, January 19.

That means the Dodgers cleared two spots on the 40-man roster, one of which will go to outfielder Teoscar Hernández, whose one-year, $23.5 million contract is expected to be finalized soon. The addition of Hernández more or less completed the Dodgers’ planned position-player set, with 11 players under contract plus arbitration-eligibles Will Smith and Gavin Lux.

That left little room for Busch, who won the Pacific Coast League MVP last season for Triple-A Oklahoma City, but struggled in sporadic duty in the majors, hitting just .167/.247/.292 in all of 81 plate appearances with the Dodgers. The 26-year-old Busch, who was drafted by the Dodgers in the first round in 2019 out of North Carolina, was voted the club’s top prospect entering 2024 by Baseball America back in November. Rankings of course can vary, as Busch was rated fifth in the system by Baseball Prospectus in December.

Finding a position for Busch was always going to be a challenge for the Dodgers, who have Freddie Freeman at first base, Mookie Betts at second base, Max Muncy at third base, and Shohei Ohtan at designated hitter. Those are the positions Busch has played the most, and any potential time for him in left field was hampered once the Dodgers signed Hernández. The Dodgers still have Miguel Vargas, who is two years younger than Busch and bats right-handed, to fill that role of optionable potential bat and they’ll figure out the position later.

Almonte was among the group of arbitration-eligible Dodgers, but he signed a contract back in November on the tender deadline day worth $1.9 million, matching his projected salary from MLB Trade Rumors.

Ferris in his first professional season last year had a 3.38 ERA in 56 innings for Low-A Myrtle Beach, with 77 strikeouts (a 32.5-percent strikeout rate) and 33 walks. The 6’4 left-hander was ranked the Cubs’ No. 11 prospect by Baseball Prospectus.

Since Hope was drafted just last year, he has an even shorter pro resumé. He played 11 games for the Cubs in the Arizona Complex League, and hit .286/.419/.543 with three home runs in 43 plate appearances and three stolen bases.

The Dodgers at the moment have 38 players on the 40-man roster. That’s without Hernández, whose deal will be finalized soon.