Cubs Reportedly Agree to Sign Outfielder Jake Marisnick (UPDATE)

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Cubs Reportedly Agree to Sign Outfielder Jake Marisnick (UPDATE)

Chicago Cubs

Once the Cubs signed Joc Pederson to be their near everyday left fielder, I mentally closed the door on them making any other outfield additions. That was less a product of feeling like they couldn’t use another outfielder for a still-thin mix, and more a product of feeling like they weren’t going to dedicate any real dollars to a quality fourth outfielder when they could rely on low-cost internal guys like Phillip Ervin or Michael Hermosillo or Rafael Ortega.

But apparently I was wrong, and the Cubs are bringing in a solid fourth outfielder:

Marisnick, 29, is a righty bat who has been near league-average in his career against lefties, but very much a “reserve” bat against fellow righties. But he’s carved out a successful role for himself on some very good teams because the glove plays well all over the outfield.

You can ignore the sub season with the Mets last year, because the sample is nothing:

(via FanGraphs)

When deployed judiciously, as you can see, he won’t kill you at the plate (though he’s a high strikeout guy). But it’s the glove that matters most, because he can be above average in center, and a stud in the corners. Having that guy on your bench is very valuable. He also runs the bases really well, and, again, could be a decent bat against lefties off the bench.

Mostly, what you’re looking at here is an Albert Almora, Jr. replacement. The glove is similar, though Almora might be a touch better to the eye test (some metrics say Marisnick is better, though – he was also always heralded as a defensive stud, like Almora). The bat is probably going to favor Marisnick quite a bit.

I am assuming this is a big league deal, and I’ll update when there are details. The Cubs’ 40-man roster stands at a full 40, so if it’s a big league deal for Marisnick, the Cubs will have to make room.

UPDATE: It is indeed a big league deal worth a $1.5 million guarantee, while doing the mutual option thing to punt some of the cash down the road:

The Cubs will have to clear a spot on the 40-man roster before this is official. Also, the amount of the signing is sufficiently low that Marisnick is probably not quite *guaranteed* a spot on the big league roster if something were to happen in the spring that indicated he wasn’t going to meaningfully contribute this year. That said, based on his career (and now roster spot), it’s a fair bet that he’s going to be on the big league bench on Opening Day.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.