Cubs reportedly close to signing free-agent outfielder
|Friday, January 24, 2020, 2:36 PM- -|
This is probably not the slugging outfielder signing that Cubs fans were wishing for (Nick Castellanos).
The Chicago Cubs are close to signing free-agent outfielder Steven Souza on Friday according to multiple reports, including MLB insider Ken Rosenthal.
"Souza, close to agreement with #Cubs, did not play last season after injuring his left knee in the second-to-last exhibition of the spring," Rosenthal posted. "He sustained a torn ACL, LCL, and partial tear of his PCL and posterior-lateral capsule."
Rosenthal confirmed that the signing is for the majors, not a minor league deal.
This would be the first major league contract signing for the Cubs this offseason. The 30-year would be a nice bench piece at a low price. Another low-risk, high-reward type move for the Cubs which seems like the theme of the last two offseasons.
Souza has played right field the majority of his five big-league seasons but has some experience playing all three outfield positions. Likely, Souza will rotate in all three spots, not just at right field.
In 2017, before getting hurt for most of the last two years, he smashed 30 homers, 78 RBIs, and a 121 wRC+ with the Tampa Bay Rays.
For his career, Souza has hit .233 with 70 homers and 198 RBIs.
The Cubs waived C.D. Pelham to make room on the 40-man roster for this apparent move coming up. Pelham cleared waivers and will be sent to Triple-A Iowa.
Cubs outfielders vs. LHP (career OPS, wRC+)— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) January 24, 2020
Souza: .756 OPS, 108 wRC+
Almora: .739 OPS, 96 wRC+
Happ: .707 OPS, 85 wRC+
Schwarber: .658 OPS, 76 wRC+
Heyward: .648 OPS, 79 wRC+
The #Cubs will now have their first free-agent signing of the winter. They are on verge of finalizing deal with outfielder Steven Souza, per @Ken_Rosenthal. Souza missed all of last season with the #Dbacks— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 24, 2020
Souza, close to agreement with #Cubs, did not play last season after injuring his left knee in the second-to-last exhibition of the spring. He sustained a torn ACL, LCL and partial tear of his PCL and posterior lateral capsule.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 24, 2020
Look out NL -- the Cubs got their man. https://t.co/Kz9LgO0UQZ— Nick Shepkowski (@NickShepkowski) January 24, 2020