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Zach McKinstry joins Chicago Cubs with a chance to be an everyday player – and a love of deep pizza – The Denver Post

Zach McKinstry had a feeling he would be leaving the Los Angeles Dodgers soon.

Conversations with Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and understanding his place in the organization’s plans prepared McKinstry for Saturday’s trade with the Chicago Cubs. He joined the team on Sunday and was added to the roster after first baseman Alfonso Rivas was selected for Triple-A Iowa.

McKinstry could already endear itself to Chicago. He shouted in a social media post at the deep pizza and Lou Malnati’s. McKinstry grew up about a three-hour drive in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and made “a bunch” of trips to Chicago. He even got a direct message from Lou Malnati on Instagram.

“I definitely know a lot of other pizza makers and a big fan of their pizza,” McKinstry said ahead of Sunday night’s game against the San Francisco Giants. “In Phoenix where I live now, we go at least once a month to splurge.”

Joining the Cubs presents a new opportunity for the 27-year-old infielder/outfielder and potentially more playing time, something that was limited on a loaded Dodgers roster. From the Cubs’ perspective, McKinstry is giving them a left-handed bat that they can plug into multiple positions and potentially unlock more if they find him consistently at bat past the trade deadline.

“Playing every day is my goal, and that’s why we’re here,” McKinstry said. “I almost felt like a caged animal there, just hanging out on the bench – seeing what they do, though, learning from some of the best in the game – and I’m excited to use it now.”

McKinstry wants Cubs fans to know he’s going strong, playing to the best of his ability and giving 100 percent every game.

“I just want to win baseball games,” he said. “So that’s my main priority. And I think we’re going to have a good opportunity to do that.

This minor trade for veteran reliever Chris Martin is the type that can pay dividends by allocating bench resources elsewhere. The Cubs have two months to see if McKinstry can be a utility player that manager David Ross can bring in as needed next year or a left-handed batsman off the bench.

Good teams can find these types of players internally. And with more playing time and an extended look, maybe McKinstry can lock in and become an everyday player.

Either way, this is a low-risk trade for a big-league ready player that the Cubs can assess over the next two weeks.

The Cubs also reached a deal with the Giants on Sunday in a minor league trade. They acquired right-hander Raynel Espinal for infielder Dixon Machado, who the Giants added to the active roster and started at shortstop Sunday night.

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