Chicago Cubs acquired Brendan Ryan to complete deal with the Yankees, why?
If there is one thing the Chicago Cubs have, it’s depth at second base/shortstop. Between Addison Russell, Ben Zobrist, Javier Baez, Tommy La Stella and even Chris Coghlan, the Cubs have more than enough players worthy of starting at the two positions.
With that being said, the team’s official Twitter account reported that infielder Brendan Ryan was revealed as the player to be named later, completing the deal which sent Starlin Castro to the New York Yankees.
At age 33, Ryan is not getting any younger. While it is true that he will provide veteran leadership to the team, he will be 34-years-old by Opening Day (March 26) and does not produce offensively.
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Over the past four seasons, Ryan’s batting averages have been .194, .197, .167 and .229, numbers far from those of other Cubs’ middle infielders.
What the Cubs have in Ryan is essentially a replacement for Jonathan Herrera, the Cubs’ former enthusiastic second baseman. Yet with Herrera, the team had a switch hitter with much better career numbers than Ryan’s. Herrera has a career .259 batting average; Ryan has a career .229 average.
Obviously, Herrera would be in the same position Ryan will be in during the 2016 season if he was re-signed. The point is why did the Cubs not go for someone else instead of Ryan?
After all, it is well-known that the team has a need for pitching and possibly a center fielder to provide depth behind Jason Heyward.
In addition, the team could have tried acquiring a younger minor league player, one with an extended future in the organization. Ryan is only under contract for the 2016 season and clearly will not return beyond that, bearing an unexpectedly successful campaign.
All in all, I do not mean to bash Ryan, even though it may come across that way. The guy hasn’t even played a game in Cubbie blue yet, so who am I to make negative assumptions?
The point here is the Cubs have holes at other positions and Ryan does not fill any of them. Hopefully, he can prove me wrong and be a valuable asset to the 2016 Chicago Cubs.