Cubs: Tommy Pham has all the makings of a rebound candidate
Whether or not the Chicago Cubs make another big splash in free agency once the lockout ends, this team will need to make other additions that don’t break the bank. Mulling over the list of buy-low candidates, one name comes to mind in a player who has seen success in the past in Tommy Pham.
Over the course of his eight-year career, Pham has slashed .265/.364/.447 with a 162-game average of 21 HR and 66 RBI. He is also proven to be a solid stolen base threat as he has hit the 25-steal mark twice in his career, most recently in 2019 with the Tampa Bay Rays. Now a free agent, Pham looks likely to be one of the more affordable options on the market.
In 2020, Pham managed a slash of just .211/.312/.312, which was far below his career averages. Last season, the veteran still struggled but slightly improved to .229/.340/.383. I still think he’s got time to turn this around, though. After back-to-back down years, it’s important to remember this is a guy who’s batted .300 before and got on base at a .369 clip as recently at 2019.
If Pham can return to form, he will be looked at as a steal in the offseason. He doesn’t need to be a top performer on whichever team he signs with, but the fact that his contract most likely will be cheaper, the upside is definitely there. You wouldn’t mind seeing the Cubs get another guy hitting for a decent average while adding speed on the base paths.
Unfortunately, fans will have to wait until this excruciatingly painful lockout finally comes to a close – whenever that might be. However, it is important for the Cubs to have an aggressive plan once the lockout concludes, as there likely will be a tidal wave of signings in the days that follow.