In a move to clear roster space for relief pitcher Taylor Rodgers, the San Francisco Giants have designated former Chicago Cubs utility infielder Tommy La Stella for assignment.
La Stella became a fan favorite for the Cubs during his run with the team from 2015-2018. La Stella saw a breakout season with the Los Angeles Angels in 2019 where he slashed .295/.346/.486 with a .351 wOBA and 119 wRC+. That success continued for La Stella in 2020 as he compiled a .355 wOBA and 128 wRC+ while splitting the season between the Angels and Oakland Athletics. La Stella has spent the past two seasons with the San Francisco Giants but has struggled to stay healthy as he was limited to less than 100 games played each season.
In 195 plate appearances with the Giants last year, La Stella slashed .239/.282/.350 with a .277 wOBA and 78 wRC+. La Stella has had surgery on each of his Achilles over the course of the past two years but there had been an expectation that he would be ready for Spring Training in 2023. Though, there was always an expectation that La Stella was going to be cut by the Giants this offseason.
At this point in his career, La Stella's only value to a team would be as a left-handed bat off the bench. Given the Cubs' preference for positional flexibility with their bench players, La Stella is not a clear fit for this team.
Tucker Barnhart arrives in Chicago
In a sign that. his signing with the Chicago Cubs will soon be made official, catcher Tucker Barnhart shared on Twitter that he has arrived in Chicago.
The Cubs' 40-man roster is currently full so there would be a need for a corresponding roster move once Barnhart's signing becomes official.
Corey Kluber signs with the Boston Red Sox
Rumored Chicago Cubs' target Corey Kluber has signed with the Boston Red Sox.
The Cubs were linked to Kluber earlier in the offseason but it's possible that the team viewed him as a fallback option if they were unable to reach an agreement with Drew Smyly. Outside of a trade for a front-end starting pitcher, chances are the Cubs are done with adding to their starting rotation this offseason.