Cubs Rumors: Who will continue to roam the outfield in 2021?

Billy Hamilton, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Billy Hamilton, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs made several moves during the shortened regular season, adding some depth in the outfield.

While they were not considered blockbuster moves, both Billy Hamilton and Cameron Maybin were good pick-ups by the Cubs. With Hamilton, Chicago got themselves a former division rival known for his blazing speed on the base paths.

Not to mention, he has made some fantastic plays on defense. Maybin, 33, has a slight advantage in terms of offensive production. Landing Maybin resulted in Albert Almora Jr. finding himself being optioned to South Bend to make room for the newly acquired outfielder from Detroit.

The 26-year-old outfielder should take notes on how current N.L. MVP dark horse Ian Happ managed to turn things around. Happ was demoted to Triple-A Iowa in late March 2019 to make some adjustments at the plate.

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The decision to send Happ back down to the minors has worked exceptionally well. Will the man whose game-changing baserunning during Game 7 of the 2016 World Series be able to do the same?

If not, then retaining one of the two veteran outfielders acquired during the shortened season would make sense. Rolling the dice on Steven Souza Jr. didn’t quite work out as he was designated for assignment during a double-header.

The Chicago Cubs signed Souza Jr. to a one-year deal in January following the official departure of Nicholas Castellanos. Castellanos inked a contract to join the Reds, who were aiming to return to the postseason.

While they are no Castellanos, opting to retain one of the two to save themselves the free agent trouble would make sense. The only question is which one would be the better option for the team?

Answer? Billy Hamilton. His offensive production isn’t there, but Maybin’s isn’t much better. With that said, Hamilton would be a much cheaper free-agent contract. Also, his speed gives David Ross a pinch-runner option late in the game or extra-innings — given the newly implemented rule.

Next. Marlins have nothing to lose. dark

Before landing with the Mets and Cubs, Hamilton signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Giants. That number isn’t all that bad for a guy who stole a total of 230 bases from 2014 to 2017.

Sure, he may be getting up there in age, but you can’t deny the fact that he is a base-stealing threat. So who not check-in and see if he’ll take a reduced contract to keep himself on a big-league club?

If the Cubs were smart, they would heavily consider maintaining the 30-year-old speed demon moving forward.