The Chicago Cubs have some high hopes heading into the 2024 campaign based on how things went for them last season, and the fact that they re-signed Cody Bellinger to a three-year, $80 million deal will surely raise those expectations. Even with Bellinger back on board, the Cubs aren't done making moves just yet.

As Spring Training starts, teams are still filling out their rosters, which led to the Cubs and Chicago White Sox making a cross-city trade on Tuesday afternoon. The two teams swapped pitchers, with the Cubs landing Matt Thompson, and the White Sox picking up Bailey Horn. But more importantly for the Cubs, they now have a roster spot open for the recently re-signed Bellinger.

Via Sahadev Sharma:

“Sources tell Ken Rosenthal and me that the Cubs have traded LHP Bailey Horn to the White Sox for RHP Matt Thompson. Clears a spot on the 40-man for Cody Bellinger once his signing becomes official.”

Cubs open up roster spot for Cody Bellinger with White Sox trade

Chicago Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger (24) reacts at first base in the second inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

For the most part, this is a fairly inconsequential prospect swap for both sides. Thompson spent the 2023 campaign at Double-A, but didn't put up numbers that were all that great (6-15, 4.85 ERA, 136 K, 1.57 WHIP), while Horn spent most of the season at Triple-A (he did pitch six games at the Double-A level), but his stats were also just decent (7-3, 4.21 ERA, 78 K, 3 SV, 1.44 WHIP).

The most important aspect of this deal likely isn't the players involved, but rather the fact that Bellinger now has a spot on Chicago's roster. That was never going to be an issue, but something had to be done in order to fit him onto the team. Now that move has been made, and both the Cubs and White Sox will be hoping that they managed to find a diamond in the rough with this swap of prospect pitchers.