Chicago Cubs: Can Souza rebound to his 2017 form?
This could end up being a cheap, productive deal for the Cubs if Souza can overcome his injuries and return to his 2017 numbers. Per Fangraphs, Souza compiled 6.2 WAR with the Rays over three seasons, 3.8 coming during his 30-home run, .239/.351/.459 2017 campaign.
That certainly is asking a lot of a player coming off such a complex injury. Chances are more likely that this will wind up being yet another blunder on the part of Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein.
Maybe Souza can ride the pine next to another one of Epstein’s misfires, hobbled hurler Brandon Morrow. Of course, Chicago inked Morrow ahead of the 2018 season to fill the void left in the ninth inning following Wade Davis’ departure. After a stellar stretch to open the season, Morrow hit the IL – and has not thrown a big league pitch since.
The deal might wind up looking somewhat decent on paper and ownership is happy because the Cubs saved a lot of money but the fans know more this time around: you get what you pay for. The fanbase has been talking the entire offseason about the team’s penny-pinching and are well aware that cutting costs is the Cubs’ primary concern.
However, most are not fooled by Chicago’s bluster that they finally made a big, offseason move. The one move Chicago fans across the nation wanted all offseason was bringing Castellanos back to the club. Do the Cubs believe fans are foolish enough to think Souza is a better deal than Castellanos? Not a chance.
In just a short stint with the Cubs last season, Castellanos hit .321 with a 1.002 OPS. It would actually take a healthy, batting Souza and perhaps outfielder, Ian Happ’s batting results combined just to come near Castellanos numbers. So why not take the player that is proven, healthy and has the right numbers to help the team? Fans are not fooled and know that Souza is no Castellanos and the only reason we are even talking about Souza is because of his price tag.