From the Wire: Cubs Trade OF Brett Jackson to Arizona for RHP Blake Cooper

The Cubs traded OF Brett Jackson to the Arizona Diamondbacks late Thursday night for RHP Blake Cooper after Arizona claimed Jackson off waivers from the Cubs. Jackson was assigned to Triple-A Reno in Arizona’s system.

RHP Blake Cooper was pitching for Triple-A Reno at the time of the trade. The 26-year old right hander was 1-0 in 17 relief appearances with a 6.00 Era and a 1.75 WHIP. Cooper was 3-2 for Double-A Mobile earlier in the year in 24 appearances out of the pen with a 1.85 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP.

With the Cubs trading Brett Jackson to Arizona, the Cubs 40-man roster officially stands at 39 players. Blake Cooper was not on Arizona’s 40-man roster.

The Cubs selected Brett Jackson in the first round of the 2009 draft (31st overall pick) and the former top prospect in the Cubs system was not able to get back on track with Triple-A Iowa this season. After spending a majority of 2013 on the DL, Jackson played in only 81 games for Iowa this year and hit .210/.298/.348 with eight doubles, four triples, five home runs and a .646 OPS. Jackson struck out 94 times in 252 at bats with 24 walks.

PrintJackson spent the end of the 2012 season with the Cubs. Jackson hit .175/.303/.342 with six doubles, a triple, four home runs and a .644 OPS. In 44 games, Jackson struck out 59 times with 22 walks.

Brett Jackson should benefit getting a fresh start with an organization that obviously sees something in him. Jackson has the tools to be a successful player at the big league level.

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  • calicub

    Good move clearing that 40man spot. It’ll be interesting who else will be gone from that list come the Rule 5.

    • VBCubs

      Does anybody see a scenario where Bryant gets outfield time and they move Olt back to 3rd?

      • Vivid_Reality

        If we were short on outfield options maybe but with Soler knocking on the door and Alcantara already manning center, it looks doubtful.

      • Theboardrider

        I think it’s possible. If Olt gets back up in September, there will be a lot for him to prove in that month. Probably no prospect will have more to lose in that period. I would imagine after the way he’s dominating AAA they’re thinking “maybe he could still make it.” But he’s going to have to prove it.

        His defense is great. Undeniable power. And since he never had been great at AAA before, that tells me he’s improving and learned something in MLB. We will see.

        • Theboardrider

          I think regardless, as of this moment, he’s still got a lot of upside. Imagine he could still be traded for a B prospect return at least.

      • Joe Hayes

        I would love see Bryant in LF w/Alcantara in CF, Soler in RF. A Valbueana/Olt platoon at 3B in 2015 until Russell is ready to take their place.

      • SirGladiator

        It seems more likely Olt will be the one moving to the OF, since Bryant is so much better at 3B defensively, never mind the fact that Bryant is simply vastly superior overall :) . I think Olt will be lucky if he manages to snag a corner OF spot, he’s got a lot to prove, and I hope he proves it.

        • Denver Mike

          Olt’s defense at 3B is far superior to Bryant

    • Vivid_Reality

      It won’t be as bad once you factor in the player going to Boston for Doubront. We’ll clear at least two more minimum with Villanueva and Fujikawa being a free agent. At that point you gotta figure at least one of Lake, Ruggiano, or Sweeney gets traded in the offseason and it wouldn’t surprise me to see any of Valaika, Watkins, Olt, other Villanueva, Wright, Wada, Rusin, Jackson, Beeler cut / traded. I think they’ll be able to clear a few spots.

  • Theboardrider

    Good for BJax hopefully. I’ll always root for him as long as he’s not playing the Cubs. He does have tools, and maybe a change of scenery will help. Wouldn’t be surprised if he was a bench player or utility guy in next couple years. Also wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in Japan in 18 months…

  • Theboardrider

    What’s Blake Cooper’s story? Is he a former higher ranked prospect? I was hoping a deal like this could get done, but I was hopeful we’d get a guy similar to BJax in that he has talent but never put it together and was getting long in the tooth.

    • Neil

      Blake Cooper is not a former top prospect. This is a waiver claim deal for a team that wanted Brett Jackson. Cooper is a 26-year old reliever and that is about all.

      • Seth Cooper

        Actually Blake Cooper was a former top prospect on the Diamondbacks’ list. He also led the South Carolina Gamecocks to a college world series title in 2010 and was also in the running for the golden spikes award. He is a pitch to contact pitcher with a grade A two seam fastball that very seldom gives up a hr.

        • Neil

          Thank you for the info on Cooper. I checked Baseball America and he was not in their top 30 lists. I did not check Baseball Prospectus. I will make sure to do that moving forward. Was it BP that ranked him higher than BA?

    • Eugene Debs

      Minor league filler.

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  • Brp921

    Best of luck to Brett Jackson. I hope he can turn things around.

  • Tony_H

    Good luck to BJAX! Good all around ballplayer that just couldn’t make enough contact. I hope someone in AZ can help him figure it out and get him to the majors, even as a 4th/5th OF.

  • Ray Koenig

    Now, to get something for Vittles.

  • The Dude Abides

    Good for BJAX, crowded OF in AZ but changes likely coming as LaRussa makes his mark. Great hitters park if he can get back up for an extended time.

  • No Baseball In Indiana

    Lakes future as well.

  • redlarczykg

    Other sad ending to an over hyped rookie. I feel bad for Jackson and 98% of the other minor leaguers who see their dreams shattered. Vitters next.

  • Chris K.

    I feel like this shows how much better the minors and the team’s expectations are. Jackson was part of the “future” and an exciting prospect and now he’s just an afterthought. I wish him well, but I’m more excited about the guys they have in the minors now.

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  • John_CC

    One BJax down, one EJax to go…

    Seriously, I wish the kid luck.

  • Roll

    Good luck Bjax, a good kid but topped out at AAA, well done FO to get anything for him and clear a spot. One more Wilken 1st round disaster to go.

  • paulcatanese

    I don’t think Baez is the answer for the Cubs. Do not anticipate him being in the long term plan. Too many swings and misses. Unless he improves a great deal in making contact he is of little use as a hitter. Yes, he does have power, can hit the ball out anywhere, but he also will set new records with strikeouts.
    He reminds me of a hitter swinging the bat as hard as he can and hoping the
    pitcher hits his bat. I look for him to be traded, sooner than later. I also think that bringing Russell into the Cub organization was to help fill that void with middle infielders.
    I would much rather see Alcantara at second base, he can do more with the bat than Baez.
    Great story with Baez, but not a lot of upside there, as he has not made a lot of contact at any level. Like the power, but not the k’s.

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