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Crosstown Trade: White Sox and Cubs swap pitchers

The White Sox and Cubs swapped minor-league pitchers, the South Side announced. The Cubs are sending Bailey Horn to the White Sox in exchange for Matt Thompson.

The trade helps the Cubs open a roster spot for Cody Bellinger, who they recently re-signed to the tune of a three-year deal worth $80 million with opt-out options available after each season.

For the White Sox, they plan to place Horn on the 40-man roster after moving Jesse Scholtens to the 60-day injured list with a torn UCL in his right elbow.

“Any time that you can pick up a left-handed pitcher with some ability, you try to do it,” manager Pedro Grifol said about the trade at Spring Training. “It just adds value to the organization. It adds competition. Left-handed pitchers are hard to find. It’s just another indication of how this front office is working.

“They’re on the hunt for 26 guys that can go to Chicago and the hunt for 40 guys that can help us win. I love that mentality and that style, especially with premium guys. And who are those premium guys? They’re the athletes up the middle and left-handed pitchers and wherever they feel can help us.”

Horn, 26, interestingly enough, was drafted by the White Sox in the 2020 MLB draft. The White Sox sent him to the Cubs in 2021 as part of the Ryan Tepera trade. Now it all comes full circle, as he returns to the South Side.

He’s played the entirety of his career in the minor leagues, playing 39 games with Triple-A Iowa Cubs last season. There, he pitched 53 innings, finishing nine games and earning two saves with a 4.58 ERA. He struck out 59 batters and walked 29 of them.

Thompson, 23, was drafted in the second round of the 2019 MLB draft by the White Sox. He played most of his 2023 season with the Double-A Birmingham Barons. There, he held a 4.85 ERA in 27 starts, striking out 136 batters and walking 85. He pitched 124.1 innings and finished the season with a 6-15 record on the mound.

This trade represents the first between White Sox general manager Chris Getz and Cubs President Jed Hoyer and general manager Carter Hawkins.

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