In case you missed the discussion on Twitter last night or the bullets this morning, some backfield, investigative journalism suggested that the Chicago Cubs may have come together on some sort of agreement with former Cub outfielder Chris Coghlan:
Bleed Cubbie Blue’s Al Yellon was at the back fields yesterday watching Tyler Chatwood’s tuneup when he could help but notice that a No. 8 sure looked a heck of a lot like former Cub Chris Coghlan, who wore that number. The outfielder is a free agent, and obviously had tremendous success with the Cubs, so him coming on a minor league deal would make plenty of sense. I looked at the pictures and video – from a distance, given the field they were on – and the batting stance, mannerisms, and everything really does look like Coghlan. I think the Cubs may have signed him to a minor league deal.
And indeed, they have:
Chris Coghlan has signed a minor-league deal with the #Cubs and started working out at their Arizona complex, as @bleedcubbieblue spotted. Coghlan, a veteran outfielder from the 2016 World Series team, will be in extended spring training.
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) March 29, 2018
Coghlan, you’ll recall, signed a Minor League deal with the Blue Jays on April 1 last season, and was assigned to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. He was called up to the big leagues just a few weeks later and then delivered one of the most memorable moments of the 2017 season:
Sounds like the Cubs have signed Chris Coghlan to a Minor League deal, remember his amazing dive last year?https://t.co/wV0WVkF28a
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) March 29, 2018
Eventually, Coghlan was designated for assignment (August 12) and was released three days later (he had previously been on the disabled list with a left-wrist contusion and struggled to come back from it).
Altogether, Coghlan played in just 36 games at the big league level last season and hit poorly (56 wRC+) during that stint. But he did, at least, maintain a walk rate north of 10% and we know the Cubs front office is fond of him (both his approach at the plate and his abilities in the outfield, which are probably at or just barely below average at this point in his career).
For the Cubs, Coghlan will hang out at Triple-A Iowa as a reserve outfielder, should tragedy strike the outfield (and remember, this deal makes even more sense, given the recent release of Peter Bourjos, who was expected to fill a similar role).
For a little bit of added positivity, Coghlan’s ZiPS projections are actually pretty solid: .245/.331/.399 (94 wRC+) with seven homers. HOPEFULLY, the Cubs don’t need to call on him for a serious stretch this season (you know, because everyone is healthy and killing it), but it’s good to have him nonetheless.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a Pre-Gamin’ that’s behind schedule!