The Cubs seemed to be a lock to be the number one seed, but a last season collapse led to them losing the wildcard game. With such little financial flexibility, Chicago is going to have to be creative, but they still have holes to address in the bullpen and on offense.
Current State: World Series Contender
Cubs Sign IF Daniel Descalso
The Cubs have signed infielder Daniel Descalso to a two year, $5 million deal. Descalso, 32, hit had a .789 OPS with the Diamondbacks last season. Like with Arizona, he’ll be a utility player for the Cubs. Chicago signed him to replace Tommy LaStella, who had just a .672 OPS and doesn’t have nearly the same positional flexibility that Descales offers. With Addison Russell’s situation in doubt due to him violating MLB’s domestic violence policy, Javier Baez will likely have to move to short. In that case, the Cubs can play Ben Zobrist or Descalso at second, while the other serves as their utility man. This signing makes Chicago a much better team; they lacked infield depth previously. Signing him for just $5 million is a bargain considering the amount of teams in the market for infield depth and a utility player, including the rival Cardinals.
Cubs Sign SP Kendall Graveman
In a rather interesting move, the Cubs have signed SP Kendall Graveman to a one year contract with an option for 2020. Graveman will earn atleast $575,000 next season, which will bump up to $2.4 million if he pitches in one game. Meanwhile, the option is for $3 million. After undergoing Tommy John surgery, Graveman is likely to miss all of next season. The whole point of this deal is to add pitching depth for 2020, and if Graveman is healthy, he’ll do just that. His career 4.38 ERA and 4.54 FIP may not be anything special, but that is still excellent value for $3 million. The main issue with Graveman in his limited action was his 2.36 HR/9. However, his xFIP, which is the same as FIP but 10.5% of fly balls are home runs, was a solid 4.40. This is essentially a $575,00 gamble that he’ll be healthy and improved for 2020, because if not, then they can just decline the 2020 option. It’s a low risk move with little impact on 2019, but one that could definitely help Chicago in 2020, even if he’s nothing more than a #5 starter or a long reliever.
*Will Be Updated With Every Move The Cubs Make