Chicago Cubs reportedly pursuing infielder Carlos Asuaje

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Continuing the trend of the offseason thus far, the Chicago Cubs are reportedly pursuing a low-profile infielder in Carlos Asuaje.

It’s been a quiet offseason for the Chicago Cubs thus far. The suddenly budget-conscious club has been extremely calculated, signing low-key names as they seem determined to stay under the lowest-tier $208 million luxury tax threshold in 2020.

Continuing that trend of under-the-radar, buy-low signings, the Cubs are reportedly pursuing second baseman Carlos Asuaje, according to The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma (subscription required).

More from Cubbies Crib

Asuaje, 28, has played in 175 career big-league games — all with the San Diego Padres from 2016-18. He holds a career .240/.312/.329 slash line; 2017 was his best season, when he slashed .270/.334/.362 in 89 games.

Asuaje is a below-average hitter, holding a career 75 wRC+ and .284 wOBA. However, he is a contact-oriented bat, sporting an 81.5 percent career contact rate.

The Cubs lineup is chock full of good hitters, but the group is similar in that many chase pitches and don’t always shorten up when down in a count to sacrifice a big swing for putting the ball in play.

Asuaje’s useful skill

Last season, Cubs hitters posted a combined a 73.8 percent rate. The figure would have been better with a full season of Ben Zobrist, who spent close to four months on the restricted list due to a personal matter. Zobrist posted an 85 percent contact rate, tops on the team.

Asuaje would add a useful skill to the team’s roster, but they have more second base options than they know what to do with, including David Bote, Daniel Descalso, Ian Happ, Nico Hoerner and Tony Kemp.

Kemp posted an 83.5 contact rate between the Cubs and Astros last season; Hoerner posted an 81.9 rate, albeit in a small 20-game sample size. Nevertheless, Chicago has plenty of second base options, two who are similar hitters to Asuaje.

Next. Jason Heyward could provide spark offensively. dark

The club could sign Asuaje to a minor-league deal to add more infield depth. He’s a buy-low option, the type of player they have focused on this winter. Fans are hungry for bigger moves, but unless they clear payroll space, we likely won’t see any big free agent splashes from the front office this winter.