Chicago Cubs: Is Garcia the bench piece the team is lacking?
Last week, I talked at length about Yolmer Sanchez, the infielder placed on waivers by the Chicago White Sox. He won Gold Glove honors at second base in the American League – but given his subpar performance at the plate, the Sox look likely to move on from his services.
The team also recently outrighted utlityman Leury Garcia who may simply be the odd man out on the South Side as the team’s talented prospect core continues to make its way to the big leagues in 2020.
Last season, he managed a measly .688 OPS and 84 OPS+ for Rick Renteria‘s club, hardly inspiring and definitely not worthy of a starting role on a team with postseason aspirations. But if the Cubs wanted to add someone to the mix who can play all over the diamond (Garcia appeared at no fewer than six positions last season), he could be worth a look.
The downside for Garcia? He doesn’t walk. In 618 plate appearances last season, he drew just 21 walks, which worked out to a .310 on-base percentage. The main reason I can see someone like this working on the North Side? He’s fairly affordable (projected to make just $4 million via arbitration) and he could, at least in theory, round out the roster as a 26th-man-type guy.
Again, in an ideal world, this isn’t the type of guy we’re talking about when it comes to the Cubs’ offseason plans. But if the overarching concern is payroll and the competitive balance tax, this could be the type of player we talk about far too often in the months to come.