Chicago Cubs: Five noteworthy free agents who remain unsigned

Andrew Cashner, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Andrew Cashner, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs, Melky Cabrera (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Melky Cabrera

Melky Cabrera has quietly put together a respectable major league hitting career. At just 35 years old, the switch-hitting outfielder has already accumulated 1,962 hits with a solid .285 batting average. He’s bounced around a lot in his career, last playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2019. In 133 games, he batted .280 with 47 RBI.

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Cabrera doesn’t come without baggage. He doesn’t walk a ton, and though he’s reached double digits in home runs seven times in his career, he hasn’t done so since 2017. He also isn’t the threat to steal he once was, as he last reached double digits in steals in 2012. In addition, though he’s played a lot at all three outfield spots throughout his career, he’s posted a negative defensive WAR every year since 2009.

Also, some fans might not be able to get over the fact that he was suspended for 50 games in 2012 – shortly after winning All-Star Game MVP – for using PEDs while with the San Francisco Giants.

All that being said, who wouldn’t want a veteran .285 career hitter coming off their bench? At this point, Cabrera is indeed probably best suited to be a bench player, especially when we consider his poor defense. He certainly wouldn’t crack the Cubs’ starting lineup, with Kyle Schwarber currently in left field and Jason Heyward in right. Though the center field situation is still up in the air, Cabrera would not be a candidate to fill that position.

Still, as far as veteran bench players go, the Cubs could do a lot worse. He would certainly be worth a look.