With six days remaining before Cubs and Royals pitchers and catchers report to their respective spring camps, the clubs made a trade involving a pair of ranked Minor Leagues.
Right-handed pitcher Alec Mills is coming to Chicago in exchange for 2015 second-rounder and outfield prospect Donnie Dewees, the Cubs said Wednesday.
Mills, 25, becomes the Cubs' No. 16 prospect. He reached the big leagues in 2016, giving up five runs -- all earned -- on three hits and four walks while striking out four over 3 1/3 innings across three bullpen appearances. In 94 Minor League games -- 67 starts -- he has a 19-22 record with a 3.03 ERA since being drafted in the 22nd round of 2012. In that time, he has amassed 377 strikeouts and 85 walks.
The Clarksville native nearly quit baseball after high school but found success as a walk-on at the University of Tennessee at Martin. After missing most of the 2014 season following Tommy John surgery, he got back to showing strong command over his four-pitch mix (fastball, changeup, curveball and slider).
"Ever since I've started pitching, I've always thrown strikes, or I've always had the ability to," he told MiLB.com in May. "I think it's just a matter of putting it where you want to."
Dewees, a 23-year-old center fielder out of the University of North Florida, slots in as the Royals' No. 12 prospect. After hitting .266/.306/.376 in short-season ball during his first crack at the pros, he improved to .284/.338/.416 with 25 doubles, 14 triples and 31 steals over 129 games between Class A South Bend and Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach and was an Organization All-Star in 2016. His speed rates a 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale.