I am surprised the Cubs didn’t just wait on this until after the deadline, since there will be other maneuverings happening. But I guess the Cubs really wanted to get new utility man Zach McKinstry in the door to work with the team as much as possible this year.
McKinstry, acquired yesterday from the Dodgers for Chris Martin, is joining the Cubs today, with Alfonso Rivas being optioned to Triple-A Iowa to make room:
Rivas, 25, has hit just .232/.313/.316/79 wRC+ at the big league level this year, and he’ll head back to Iowa where Matt Mervis has probably become the primary starter at first base. It’s tough to say what comes next for Rivas, whose glove is really good at first base and whose bat is almost certainly too good for Triple-A. Will he be retained on the 40-man for the offseason, and given another shot to win a bench job in the spring? Will the Cubs see if there are other interested teams out there in the early part of the offseason? Will the Cubs try to sneak him through waivers in November? All questions for later, I suppose.
McKinstry, 27, figures to have the inside track on a bench job next year, but the Cubs will right now focus on trying to get him a little more big league playing time than he was getting with the Dodgers. You want to know how well you think the bat – which has always hit at Triple-A – can translate in the big leagues with more semi-regular playing time. The glove will play almost anywhere, so that brings up the floor considerably on his value off the bench.
For more on McKinstry, if you didn’t see the updates yesterday, see here.