As rumored, the Cubs got their new depth outfielder, and sure enough, he comes over from the Braves … but it isn’t Peter Bourjos. It’s former Cubs minor leaguer (and lots of other organizations) Lane Adams.
Lane Adams signed a minor league deal with the Cubs.
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienAJC) May 5, 2018
As far as in-season minor league deals go, this is about as good as it gets.
Adams, 28, can play all over the outfield, and the righty has actually been a plus bat in his big league career (.264/.338/.450, 108 wRC+), including the last two years with the Braves (.270/.345/.460, 113 wRC+, 143 PAs). He has always hit well in the minors, too, including a stint in the Cubs’ system a couple years ago. We’ll call his ascension to the big leagues a “victim of circumstance” situation, because on paper, he looks like a very nice 4th/5th outfielder type.
Given his likely desirability as a minor league free agent after he declined to take a minor league assignment with the Braves, he must have felt like he had a really good shot at reaching the big leagues with the Cubs. As we said yesterday, there’s really not going to be a spot on the big league bench absent an injury or a decision to send Ian Happ down to Iowa (which is not imminently on tap, but could happen).
I also wonder what this signing means for Chris Coghlan, who signed a minor league deal with the Cubs, but hasn’t yet appeared at Iowa. Is he hurt? Even if he weren’t, would the Cubs’ desire to have an outfielder who can play all over override their previous positive experience with Coghlan?
Whatever the case, Adams figures to join the Iowa Cubs soon, and will stand ready as a bench option for the Cubs.