Chicago Cubs sign free agent veteran utiltyman Daniel Descalso

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs addressed their need for a veteran presence on Tuesday, signing veteran utility player Daniel Descalso to a two-year deal.

After trading away Tommy La Stella and designating Ronald Torreyes for assignment, the Chicago Cubs definitely needed another infield piece. According to multiple reports, they now have that in veteran Daniel Descalso.

The 32-year-old put up a 1.0 WAR last year with the Arizona Diamondbacks, thanks largely in part to a .353 on-base percentage and a career-best 106 OPS+. His positional versatility cannot be overstated. In his career, he’s played every position outside of catcher and center field.

Dependability comes with Descalso

In each of the previous two seasons with the Dbacks, Descalso appeared in at least 130 games – which bodes well as an insurance policy for the Cubs. We already know he’ll see significant time over the first month or so as Addison Russell finishes serving his 40-game suspension. Once Russell returns, don’t be shocked to see Descalso deployed in a manner quite similar to Ben Zobrist.

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Chicago brings in the longtime St. Louis mainstay on a two-year deal worth $5 million, according to Ken Rosenthal. The deal also includes a club option for the 2021 season at $3.5 million ($1 million buyout).

So, needless to say, the team isn’t breaking the bank with a move like this. But Descalso brings even more defensive versatility to the roster – and a veteran presence the team lacked in 2018.

And before you lose your minds over using valuable ‘Bryce Harper funds’ in this move, it balances out financially – La Stella is projected to pull in $1.4 million via arbitration and given Torreyes made $800K in 2018, the numbers work out to about what keeping both of those guys could have cost in payroll.

This isn’t the type of deal that anyone really cares about at the end of December when the big free agents are still available. But it has often been the difference for teams vying to make another deep October run. You want guys who have been to the postseason, understand the grind of a big league season and knows what it takes on a daily basis.

Daniel Descalso, by all indications, checks all those boxes.

Gets on base and pulls his own defensively

We’re talking about a guy who enters 2019 with a .344 on-base percentage over the last three seasons and can play virtually anywhere on the diamond. If you’re not on board with adding a guy like this, I don’t know what to tell you except to take off your Harper goggles, because you’re clearly drunk.

Next. Will the Cubs take a chance on a veteran catcher?. dark

This won’t be the last move the Chicago Cubs make this winter. But I anticipate it perfectly foreshadows what types of deals you should expect from the front office in the next two months – like it or not.