The Cubs acquired INF Tommy La Stella and an International signing bonus slot (No. 4) from the Braves for RHP Arodys Vizcaino and three International signing bonus slots (Nos. 2 – 4).
La Stella made his big league debut for the Braves last season and played only second base for Fredi Gonzalez. The 25-year old bats from the left side and has only played second base in pro ball since being selected by the Braves in the eighth round of the 2011 draft. La Stella has three minor league options left after being added to the Braves’ 40-man roster in May of 2014.
Tommy La Stella walked (136) more in four seasons in the minors than he struck out (102).
The Cubs also sent three International bonus slots to the Braves. Slot No. 2 ($458,000), slot No. 3 ($309,300) and slot No. 4 (206,700). The Cubs received the Braves No. 4 slot worth $142,000. The Braves netted $832,000 in the swap of the International bonus pool money.
With Sunday’s trade, the Cubs 40-man roster stands at 38 players.
Tommy La Stella, 25, made his major league debut with the Braves last season and led National League rookies with 36 walks and a .328 on-base percentage (min. 300 plate appearances). In 93 games, he hit .251 (80-for-319) with 16 doubles, one home run and 31 RBI, and compiled a .984 fielding percentage (6 E/368 TC) in 88 games at second base. He began the year at Triple-A, his first time at that level, and hit .293 (49-for-167) with a .384 on-base percentage in 47 games for Gwinnett prior to his promotion to the majors.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound La Stella was named the Braves ninth-best prospect by Baseball America prior to last season. He owns a .322 (326-for-1013) batting average and a .407 on-base percentage in 288 career minor league games since he was selected by the Braves in the eighth round of the 2011 Draft. La Stella has 136 walks compared to 102 strikeouts in 1,197 minor league plate appearances.
In 2013, La Stella was named Double-A Mississippi’s Most Valuable Player after he led the team with a .343 batting average (97-for-283) and a .422 on-base percentage in 81 games. He recorded a franchise-record 23-game hitting streak, July 5-August 5, in which he batted .386 (34-for-88). Additionally, La Stella was named to the 2013 Arizona Fall League’s Top Prospects team after batting .290 (18-for-62) in 18 games with the Scottsdale Scorpions.
La Stella, a left-handed batter and right-handed fielder, was named a Carolina League mid-season All-Star in 2012 with Single-A Lynchburg, a season in which he hit .397 in 23 games following the All-Star break. In 2011, his first pro season, he led Single-A Rome with a .328 batting average (76-for-232) in 63 games.
Arodys Vizcaino, 24, pitched in five September games for the Cubs last season and posted a 5.40 ERA (3 ER/5.0 IP) in his first major league action since undergoing Tommy John surgery in March of 2012. Vizcaino was named the tenth-best prospect in the Cubs system by Baseball America prior to last season. Vizcaino was acquired from the Braves with right-handed pitcher Jaye Chapman, July 30, 2012, for left-handed pitcher Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson.