Joey Wendle isn't a serious answer to the Cubs' infield depth problems

The veteran hasn't been productive in years and Chicago would be smart to steer clear.
New York Mets v St. Louis Cardinals
New York Mets v St. Louis Cardinals / Joe Puetz/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves cut ties with Joey Wendle earlier this week, designating him for assignment before the veteran opted for free agency. Given the Chicago Cubs could use infield depth, some have opined that Wendle could be a perfect fit.

But they're wrong.

Joey Wendle isn't what this struggling Cubs team needs right now

Wendle, 34, mustered just a .222/.243/.250 line with the Mets in limited action before latching on with Atlanta. And if you're thinking that can be written off due to spotty, inconsistent playing time, let me stop you right there. Last season with Miami, the utilityman put up a 48 OPS+ over 318 at-bats, telling you exactly what he is at the plate at this point in his career.

The Cubs inexplicably called up infield prospect Luis Vasquez on May 21, only to give him one plate appearance over a 10-day stretch before righting their wrong and recalling Pete Crow-Armstrong from Iowa. Had they promoted Vazquez and dumped Nick Madrigal, they might have been onto something, but clearly this team needs some changes when it comes to the bench.

Madrigal has been a disaster in every sense of the word and there's little reason to think he'll ever become anything more, let alone live up to the expectations that surrounded him as a first-round pick out of Oregon State. But Wendle wouldn't be any sort of upgrade and the Cubs would be well-served remembering the failed Eric Hosmer, Trey Mancini and Tucker Barnhart experiments of recent years.

Signing guys who were good 3-5 years ago (Wendle was an All-Star with the Rays in '21) whose production has fallen precipitously since is not a sound roster decision. I understand the versatility he brings and the intrigue of adding what he was with Tampa Bay to this team. But he's not that player any longer and Jed Hoyer would do well to remember that as he scours for ways to improve this underperforming Cubs team.