Chicago Cubs: Matt Joyce
Will the Cubs go with an outfield of Kyle Schwarber in left field, Albert Almora, Jr. in center, and Jason Heyward in right for 2020? Perhaps they’d like to upgrade, particularly in center, but if so there aren’t many inspiring free agents still out there. We already know about Castellanos, and the Cubs haven’t come up at all for Marcell Ozuna, so if they are going to add via free agency, it likely will be for a bench/depth piece.
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Hence, I bring up Matt Joyce. I’ll admit there have been a couple of times when I forgot that Joyce was even still in the league. Still, the 35-year-old outfielder has had a decent 12-year career in which he’s hit 145 home runs and posted a respectable .775 OPS. He’s bounced around to several teams and has had an up-and-down career, yet he’s still been able to find work and has been a solid contributor both as a starter and as a bench player.
In 2019, Joyce had a great season in part-time duty with the Atlanta Braves. He set a career high with a .295 batting average in 200 at-bats while posting the second-highest OPS of his career at .858.
He’s not a particularly good defensive player, but he could be a nice bat off the bench for David Ross and could fill in both in right and left field if necessary.
Because he’s coming off such a good season, Joyce figures to attract plenty of interest between now and spring training. If indeed the Cubs just want a left-handed bench bat, they should check in on Joyce.