On Thursday, it was announced that the Chicago Cubs inked a veteran outfielder to a minor league deal. With their bullpen barely keeping it together, was it the right move?
Personally, I had Carlos added on a trade wish list several years ago when the Cubs were piecing together their World Series roster. Unfortunately, that wish did not come true, but somehow he still managed to find his way to the North Side.
Only his offensive production hasn’t necessarily been the same, which isn’t an issue. We’ve witnessed a handful of career-reviving moves, and this could very well be what Gonzalez needs to get back on track.
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Yes, this move provides depth with Ben Zobrist‘s future in question. However, this transaction isn’t what anyone would expect considering the shape this bullpen is in right now.
For weeks, fans have been calling for this front-office to reach out to closer Craig Kimbrel in the attempt to prevent further flooding. Let’s be honest, the bullpen has been a major question mark for years and was expected to be made top priority after losing Jesse Chavez.
Not to mention, hearing news regarding Brandon Morrow‘s status being unknown made things worse as the Cubs would not have a true closer. Morrow, when healthy, has proved to be worth the two-year, $21 million deal.
While I mentioned the signing provides depth, Chicago is still putting up historic numbers even with Zobrist out of the lineup. Sure, having the likes of Gonzalez over Mark Zagunis or 34-year-old Jim Adduci sounds nice.
Chicago could have rolled the dice on Kimbrel while giving someone such as Donnie Dewees or Johnny Field an opportunity. Dewees, 25, is currently hitting .269/.374/.446/.820 with five big flies, 19 RBI, and 35 total hits in 130 at-bats.
Donnie has been within the Minor League system since 2015 when the Cubs drafted him in the 2nd round. Chicago traded him to Kansas City in exchange for Alec Mills but was dealt back on March 9 of this year for right-hander Stephen Ridings.
As for Field, he has some big league experience under his belt having made his debut on April 14, 2018, with the Tampa Bay Rays. This season, Field has tallied seven home runs, 30 RBI, three triples, 14 doubles, and 43 total hits while carrying a batting line of .264/.313/.515/.828.
Neither one is a part of the 40-man roster, but they could have easily replaced Adduci had the Cubs gone that route. Who knows, maybe Theo Epstein still has plans on making a move regarding the bullpen and hasn’t revealed it yet.
All I know is this bullpen desperately needs some more reliable firepower if Chicago has any hopes of making another World Series push even if it is a gamble.