Does the Wilson/Avila trade make the Cubs make World Series favorites?

Avila, a former All-Star who played for the White Sox a year ago, fills the veteran catcher spot vacated when Miguel Montero was jettisoned last month for critical comments about teammate Jake Arrieta.

Sunday, as the team landed in NY for a series against the Yankees, general manager Al Avila made his second major move of the month, sending Wilson and his own son to the Cubs for two of Chicago's top prospects - third baseman Jeimar Candelario and shortstop Isaac Paredes. The Cubs can immediately move Wilson as the closer if Davis walks away.

The arrival of Avila provides the Cubs with a veteran backstop who can handle the staff, provide some offense, and give Willson Contreras some much needed rest down the stretch.

According to Fenech, the Astros, Nationals, and Dodgers were also in the running for Wilson.

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The Cubs have had issues with their bullpen this season, and relievers have been a primary target in trade rumors approaching the deadline. In 11 games in the majors, Candelario bat.152 with a homer and three RBIs. But he's a corner infielder, and the Cubs have perhaps the best corner infield combination in the majors in Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo.

Wilson will play a larger role for the Cubs, who may turn the left-hander into the team closer if they fail to re-sign Wade Davis next season.

"The second half, we've played really well", Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said.

The significant loss to the Tigers will be Wilson - the one bright spot in a bad bullpen. In Iowa, he's hit at a.266 clip with 12 home runs and 52 RBIs. Paredes was well-regarded, and Candelario should be able to help them as soon as this season, although they're not contending and likely won't be in the near future. Paredes is now playing in single-A. They believe they've got that in the 29-year-old Wilson, who has a 2.68 ERA and 0.94 WHIP this season. Though Wilson actually has better career numbers against right-handed hitters than against lefties, he could be deployed against any of those threats late in games. These trades were undoubtedly painful, but they have once again made the Cubs a serious threat in the postseason, should they survive to see it.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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