There was a lot about non-tendered Rockies outfielder David Dahl that was not a perfect fit for the Cubs in the outfield. He strikes out a lot. He is a lefty bat with a typical platoon split. He’s a capable center fielder, but not a great one. And, of course, the litany of injuries – including shoulder surgery to end his 2020 season – make him completely unreliable as a guy you expect to play 150+ games.
But the substantial offensive upside at his age sure made me interested for the Cubs at a low price tag. You don’t get many cracks at serious upside on the cheap in an area of the roster where you have, like, no one. And since the Cubs aren’t going to be spending much this offseason anyway, I figured they might as well take a swing.
But it’s the Rangers who got Dahl at $3 million:
Free agent outfielder David Dahl and the Texas Rangers are in agreement on a one-year deal for around $3 million, sources familiar with the agreement tell ESPN. The 26-year-old Dahl was nontendered by Colorado but should find plenty of playing time with the Rangers.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 11, 2020
David Dahl was considered by many to be the best player non-tendered this offseason. The left fielder is reportedly a Ranger now.@ThreeTwoEephus on what that tells us about the 2020 squad, as well as Texas' overall strategy:https://t.co/U5WaT1Ml8t
— The Athletic Dallas (@TheAthleticDFW) December 12, 2020
Dahl, 26, was projected for $2.5-$2.7 in arbitration by MLB Trade Rumors, which is interesting, given that the Rockies didn’t trade Dahl for a small return before the non-tender deadline (that is to say, if he were ACTUALLY going to get only that much in arb, the Rockies SHOULD have been able to trade him to the Rangers for a little cash or a PTBNL). Perhaps that arb estimate was considered by all to be too low. It’ll be interesting, again, to see what Kyle Schwarber gets relative to his projection, but I digress.
As for Dahl, the Rangers get a relatively cheap lottery ticket in a year they don’t expect to compete anyway. And if he’s healthy and great, they get to control him through arbitration for another year. If he’s hurt or he stinks, all the Rangers are out is a little cash.
Without a set baseball budget, frankly, I wonder if the Cubs could even commit to the $3 million right now …