Well, we are not at a loss of roster news over these past few days, eh?
Aside from Jason Heyward deciding not to opt-out, 2019 options for Jose Quintana, Pedro Strop, and Cole Hamels getting picked up, Drew Smyly being traded to the Rangers, and Johnny Field claimed from the Twins, the Cubs have some more moves up their sleeve for you on this Friday afternoon:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) November 2, 2018
The Cubs have claimed infielder Jack Reinheimer (great name) off waivers from the Mets, and made a number of procedural moves as well, which will get to in a second. First, the new guy.
Reinheimer, 26, is an extremely versatile utility player/shortstop, who’s only gotten a taste of the big leagues with the Diamondbacks in 2017 (5 PAs) and the Mets last season (35 PAs). He was originally drafted by the Mariners back in 2013, but was never exactly a top prospect. Indeed, his value may be tied up in his defensive prowess (particularly at shortstop) and his overall versatility, but that’s just my immediate guess based on what I’ve seen so far.
I should point out that Reinheimer broke out with the bat a bit in Triple-A this past season (131 wRC+) and added 7 steals in just 16 games, but that was a pretty small sample and he was certainly old for that level. More to the point, Reinheimer strikes me first and foremost as big league shortstop depth for the Cubs – i.e. a guy that can be stashed away in Triple-A Iowa should tragedy strike the big league roster (this is assuming, of course, Addison Russell gets traded sometime in the next few months).
As for the rest of the moves, let’s start with the out-righted players:
- Terrance Gore out-righted off the 40-man roster
- Mike Freeman out-righted off the 40-man roster
Terrance Gore may well be the fastest man alive, but he was never long for the Cubs 40-man roster, given how little value he adds otherwise. Should the Cubs look destined for another postseason run this summer, there’ll be another Terrance Gore available somewhere. Mike Freeman, meanwhile, is sort of like an older version of Reinheimer, so that move is easier to explain/more expected.
Plus, with all the 60-Day disabled list guys coming back onto the roster today (they had to), the Cubs needed space on the 40-man roster, which now sits at 39:
- Yu Darvish
- Brandon Morrow
- Justin Hancock
- Mark Zagunis
There’ll be other guys bounced off the 40-man – one way or another – before the offseason is over and probably several others added, as well. But the Cubs needed to organize the existing players first and with these seven moves (four back on, two off, one new guy added), they’ve begun that process. The busy week continues!