Cubs made the right, albeit risky, call in signing Clint Frazier

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The MLB lockout has begun. We have a labor stoppage for the first time in 26 years – but before the doors slammed shut between the league and the MLBPA, the Chicago Cubs made several moves of varying degrees of significance.

On Tuesday morning, the Cubs signed veteran catcher Yan Gomes to a two-year deal worth $13 million, their first multi-year deal with a position player since Daniel Descalso. Of course, two days later, Chicago signed pitcher Marcus Stroman to a three-year deal worth $71 million with an opt-out after the second year. However, perhaps the most intriguing signing came when the Cubs inked outfielder Clint Frazier to a one-year deal.

Frazier was not tendered a contract by the New York Yankees, and has had past success in the Majors. Frazier, 27, had a rough 2021 with a .186/.317/.317 slash line in 218 plate appearances. Over his whole career, he has a slash of .239/.327/.434 – good for a .761 OPS.

These are the types of risks the Cubs need to take. One thing the team was really good at during their run was finding reclamation projects and turning them into something. Jason Hammel comes to mind, as do Trevor Cahill, Chris Coghlan and Brian Duensing. A lot of pitchers, but still shows the idea behind a move like this.

Frazier posted an .806 OPS in 2019 and .905 in the shortened 2020 season. The talent is there, and the Yankees aren’t for everybody, personality wise. Frazier coming to a new organization and a change of scenery could do wonders for him and his career. If he is successful in Chicago, he still has two more years of arbitration left. The potential is there and the Cubs had nothing to lose by adding him to the outfield mix.

Chicago Cubs: These types of moves can pay huge dividends

This is how good teams build quality depth – taking fliers on guys looking to prove themselves in a new city. Signing Frazier, combined with the Gomes and Stroman deals, show that Jed Hoyer is serious when he says he has no intentions of this being a lengthy rebuild.

Frazier has bounced around in his career, originally being drafted by Cleveland with the fifth overall pick of the 2013 draft. He was traded to the Yankees in 2016 along with other prospects for Andrew Miller. He has yet to play a full season at the big league level for a variety of reasons, ranging from shuttling back and forth to the minors to injuries.

Next. Chicago Cubs make unexpected splash, sign Marcus Stroman. dark

Chicago picked up serious momentum in the days leading up to the MLB lockout. Rumors have surfaced connecting the Cubs to free agent shortstop Carlos Correa, too. We have some waiting ahead of us, but, already, this team is trending in the right direction.