The Chicago Cubs don’t just claim relievers off of waivers.
Today, the Cubs claimed outfielder Cole Gillespie off of waivers from the Giants. The 29-year-old right-handed-hitting outfielder can play all over the outfield, though he’s mostly stayed in a corner spot over the last few years. He’s never had much of a shot to break through in the bigs (which is usually a red flag for a 29-year-old), but he certainly hits quite well in the minors (obligatory Pacific Coast League warning). He doesn’t have a lot of pop, which could be part of the reason he hasn’t gotten a shot in the bigs, but he walks almost as much as he strikes out and consistently sports an OBP near .400. If he faces mostly lefties, he could be a really interesting bench bat.
With David DeJesus, Ryan Sweeney, and Brett Jackson all hurt, and with Scott Hairston traded, I wouldn’t immediately leap to any conclusions about the Cubs bracing for a trade here. I would imagine that, although, yes, the Cubs do likely know they’ll try and move an outfielder or two in the coming weeks, this is just about grabbing an interesting guy they liked because they had an open 40-man spot. No real reason not to.
Although it might not be until after the All-Star break, Gillespie might be the guy who ultimately comes up and reverts the roster back to a more normal 12/13 pitcher/positional player ratio. His addition, by my count, puts the 40-man roster back at 40.