Cubs add a pair of veteran lefty hitters
Kiyoshi Mio - USA Today Sports

Cubs add a pair of veteran lefty hitters

by - Senior Writer -

It's amazing what happens when you can make a subtle announcement. After Tom Ricketts discussed the Cody Bellinger situation and the idea that the Cubs haven't negotiated with him, Jed Hoyer began talking to other options in an effort to add to this roster.

Both acquisitions filled a need on this team, which was a need for lefties as it became a lefty day in Chicago. The most surprising thing about both deals would be that they come from veteran players with a great track record, and both are on minor league deals with an invite to Spring Training.

Minutes after the Cubs added veteran OF David Peralta to the team, it was announced that the Cubs are adding 1B Dom Smith to a minor league deal worth up to 3.5 million dollars. This shouldn't surprise anyone, as the Cubs tried something similar with Edwin Rios last year, only to have that deal not work out.

We will get to Smith in a minute, but first, let's talk about the Peralta signing. Say what you want about this pickup, but it is a deal that makes sense, especially if the Cubs have moved on from Bellinger or, at the very least, are waiting for Scott Boras to cave. He is a veteran OF that can play either of the corner spots while also being able to help out at the DH. He is a lefty who crushes righties, and it will be interesting to see how things fall once Spring gets underway.

The 36-year-old Peralta is nearing the end of his baseball career, but clearly, the bat plays well enough to make most teams as a fourth OF option and a potential role player for any team. Now entering his 11th professional season, Peralta is coming off a season where he hit .259/.294/.381 with the Dodgers, adding seven homers and 55 RBIs.

For his career, Peralta hits .279 with 117 homers and 541 RBIs, as he has carved out quite a niche in this league. The career .279 average is what stands out, as that would've been one of the better averages on the team last season. Coming off an injury that required offseason forearm surgery, it will be interesting to see what Peralta has left in the tank and if the Cubs believe in him enough to give him a chance.

Getting to Smith, and this was one of those signings that took long enough to happen. In case you forget, the Cubs were linked to Smith in 2022, but the Mets elected to hold on to him instead of trading him. He wound up in Washington last season before landing in free agency again. Like Peralta, Smith is a lefty bat, which the Cubs need, plays first base to give them more depth, and has an opportunity to make this team out of spring and provide them with some much-needed left-handed pop.

Still just 28 years old, many would consider Smith to be in the prime of his career even if he hasn't had much of a chance. That is the key; Smith has yet to have much of an opportunity at this point in his career, but when he was given a chance, he showed the value he brings to the table. After breaking out with the Mets in 2019 and 2020, Smith quickly fell off the Mets radar before landing with the Nationals.

A career .254 hitter, Smith has had mixed results as a player, but there is still a ton to like about his game. One of the most significant changes for Smith came last season when he sacrificed his overall power potential to be more of a high-contact guy. A career 24.3% strikeout guy, Smith saw that number drop to 15%, with Washington showing he had the ability. It will be interesting to see if he brings his power back this season, but at the very worst, both men will be excellent depth pickups for this team.

With the first set of spring games set to happen this weekend, adding these guys now is a good idea as they will hop in right in the middle of full squad workouts and could very easily find themselves playing this weekend. With some questions still needing to be addressed with the roster, their play over the spring could dictate some of the answers as Hoyer has now returned to his adding depth approach.

Comment on this story
Send Feedback to Dustin Riese: Email | Comment
Post your comments!