Chicago Cubs sign light-hitting infielder Carlos Asuaje to minor league deal
While still overly quiet on the free agent front, the Chicago Cubs made another small move to acquire potential infield depth for the upcoming season.
According to The Athletic‘s Sahadev Sharma, the Cubs added another name via a minor league deal in infielder Carlos Asuaje. Asuaje, 28, has appeared in 175 big league games in his career – all as a member of the San Diego Padres.
He split 2019 between playing in the Korean Baseball Organization and the Arizona Diamondbacks system. More recently, he’s been playing in the Dominican Winter League, as well, where his bat has come to life.
There had been rumblings that the Cubs had interest in the left-handed-hitting infielder. His primary position is second base while he has played very briefly at third base. Asuaje is a career .240/.312/.329 hitter with six homers, 42 RBI and 75 wRC+ hitter. His best season was in 2017 when he hit .270/.334/.362 in 89 games.
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Asuaje will be competing for a spot on the roster in spring training as the Cubs try to sort out their depth. They have brought in guys like Hernan Perez and prospects Nico Hoerner and Zack Short will get their cracks at the Opening Day roster, as well.
How could Asuaje fit on the roster?
One thing is for sure the Cubs have a lot of depth on the infield. The current depth chart shows Hoerner as the number one second baseman with David Bote and Daniel Descalso. It is hard to imagine Asuaje potentially playing anywhere else other than occasionally third. Regardless, Asuaje will not be starting many games if he even makes the roster.
Asuaje’s role if he does make the club is simply filling in every now and then as the final spot on the roster essentially. In terms of fielding his defensive metrics are not great, career -30.7 UZR/150 and -6 Defensive Runs Saved at second, but he is a career .992 fielding percentage at second so he does not make a lot of errors.
It is worth noting that Asuaje has an option left to be sent down, as well. It is very likely that he will be optioned and maybe called up later in the season. It feels like it will take a lot for him to make the big league squad to start the season, he has to really impress. With that said, the depth on the team as it is is questionable so he certainly will be given a chance.
As we wait to see what happens with Kris Bryant and other potentially trades, the Cubs will continue to make little to no moves. The new year has begun and Spring Training is coming up fast.