With their depth being tested, the Chicago Cubs signed veteran infielder Dee Strange-Gordon to a Minor League deal on Wednesday.
Nico Hoerner strained his hamstring on Tuesday night and will be out indefinitely. That leaves the second base depth hanging by a string with David Bote and Eric Sogard. Bote is getting the bulk of playing time at third base with Matt Duffy also on the IL and Kris Bryant moving around the field consistently.
The Cubs’ signing of Gordon comes about three months too late, as he should have been the one signed over Sogard the whole time. Gordon has a Silver Slugger, batting title and Gold Glove to his credit, as well as over 300 steals.
Gordon’s career wRC+ is 88, Sogard’s is 81. His career .286 average is nearly 40 points higher than Sogard’s .247. They both make contact at a fairly solid rate, with Sogard striking out just 13.5 percent of the time and Gordon just a little under 15 percent. Both players have high-contact skills which fits well with the Cubs lineup. Both are decent defenders at second base, Sogard with 20 DRS and Gordon with 16.
Gordon’s athleticism will fit a little better with the Cubs’ profile, as he can also play multiple positions including the outfield. It remains to be seen if Gordon will join the big league team or if he will report to Triple-A Iowa, which has also been decimated by injuries/call-ups, however the corresponding roster move to Hoerner’s injury seems to be an outfield call-up.
Cubs: Scouting Dee Strange-Gordon
Chicago could use another infielder at the Major League level, as it seems like every team has been decimated by the injury bug in the Majors this season, could be a byproduct of the shortened season last year and everybody is not as stretched out as they’d normally be.
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Gordon has spent his career with the Dodgers, Marlins and Mariners. He signed a minor league contract with the Reds before spring training and was released before the season started, not making the team.
The Brewers then picked him up where he was released on May 22. He is making his rounds around the NL Central this season, and hopefully the Cubs is where he’s able to plant his feet in 2021.
Strange-Gordon is looking to find some success again after having a bad shortened 2020 (who didn’t?) and not able to find a home for this season yet.
Gordon doesn’t hit for much power with just 18 career home runs, but he puts the ball in play, and even in today’s game something can be said for that. Contact is valuable as it becomes less and less, and the players that do make contact will stick around more and more.
Hoerner’s valuable skills were high contact and elite defense, and hopefully Gordon can bring both to the Cubs if he ever gets his chance in the Friendly Confines.