After being designated for assignment last week, it appeared that Matt Szczur’s time with the Chicago Cubs had come to an end, and on Monday the team made it official as they traded him to the San Diego Padres.
Szczur, who was picked by the Cubs in the 2010 draft and made his big league debut in 2014, had eight home runs and 40 RBI in 202 games with the Cubs.
In exchange, the Padres sent minor league pitcher Justin Hancock to the Cubs. Hancock has an 0-2 record with a 6.23 ERA in 10 relief outings at the Double-A level in the Padres’ organization, and he has a career 3.91 ERA across all levels of the minor leagues.
The move to designate Szczur for assignment came as the Cubs had to deal with a roster crunch last week. With pitchers needing rest and with Szczur being out of options, the Cubs were forced to designate him for assignment, and before the 10-day window closed they opted to trade him to the Padres rather than risk losing him for nothing on the waiver wire.
Even though he didn’t play a lot for the Cubs, Szczur became part of the team’s storied history when he lent his bat to Anthony Rizzo during the 2016 NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Using the bat, Rizzo broke out of his slump in a big way, and he ultimately helped the Cubs to a World Series championship last fall.