Chicago Cubs and outfielder Jarrod Dyson could be an ideal fit
By Tim Stebbins
Free agent outfielder Jarrod Dyson would be a solid bench option and addition to the Chicago Cubs outfield corps for the upcoming 2018 season.
Despite the fact that they will report to Spring Training in a few weeks, the Chicago Cubs could still make a few roster moves. One of these potential moves involves adding another outfielder.
Entering 2018, the Cubs’ outfield depth consists of Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora, Jason Heyward, Ian Happ and Ben Zobrist. However, Zobrist and Happ are likely to receive a fair share of playing time at second base as well.
Extra outfielder needed each season
Furthermore, while Schwarber’s slimmed-down physique is great, his defense leaves something to be desired. With Zobrist and Schwarber, the Cubs need an extra outfielder for late-game defense, at the very least.
In 2017, the Cubs’ signing of Jon Jay was a minor move that paid off in the long run. Jay provided versatility, as he played all three outfield positions. He also hit .296 in 141 games (379 at-bats), providing a stable bat day-in and day-out.
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Jay is currently a free agent, so one should not rule out a reunion between he and the Cubs. However, one would think that the team would have re-signed him by now if it was in their plans.
Dyson solid across the board
Regardless of this fact, the Cubs need another outfielder, whether that is Jay or not. One player worth looking at is former Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners outfielder, Jarrod Dyson.
Dyson, 33, hit .251 in 111 games last season (346 at-bats) while also stealing 28 bases. For reference, Javier Báez and Anthony Rizzo led the Cubs with 10 stolen bases each in 2017.
Dyson made 108 appearances in the outfield in 2017 (96 in center field, 12 in left field). He can also play right field, as he made 21 appearances there in 2016 with the Royals. If qualified, Dyson’s .988 fielding percentage last season would have been tied for 11th in the MLB.
Although his .251 batting average last season is not great, Dyson hit .278 in 107 games (299 at-bats) in 2016. He also has stolen at least 26 bases in every season since 2012. Ultimately, one knows what they are getting with Dyson.
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Dyson’s speed, versatility, defensive ability and bat would only benefit the Cubs. If the opportunity is there, they must consider bringing him aboard for the 2018 season.