I was never particularly convinced that Brandon Drury was the right free agent target for the Cubs this offseason, even AFTER so many of my preferred 3B/DH targets came off the board. And they haven’t been connected to him for a while, for whatever reason. But the Cubs’ chances to add a bat are certainly dwindling now that Drury has signed with the Angels, per multiple reports.
That’s a pretty cheap *and* short-term contract, so there’s not really much risk there. But I stand by my assessment from this morning, when his market was “very active.”
Drury, 30, could conceivably cover third base full-time for the Cubs, but he has experience all around the infield and as a DH. That works for a team like the Cubs who might be mixing and matching at 1B, 3B, and DH almost daily. Drury also hits for power (.230 ISO in 2022, .202 in 2021) and isn’t a big strikeout liability. There is a superficial fit there.
There’s also a reason he’s still available.
Despite solid results in 2022 (123 wRC+) and 2021 (114 wRC+), his expected statistics had him much worse off. And that tracks closely with his generally brutal offensive performances from 2017-2020. Drury has also dealt with plenty of injuries throughout his career and is not particularly keen to take a walk.
So, again, I’m not upset about this one, because I’m not sure Drury is all that certain to be (1) healthy and (2) good. But the urgency to close something with a 1B/DH type like Trey Mancini just ticked up in my book. The Cubs really need another bat and there just aren’t many available … at least not in free agency.
The only thing that chaps me a bit here is the broader Cubs strategy this winter. Yes, some big free agents got far bigger deals than we expected this month, but plenty of available impact bats have signed some really affordable deals. How many of THOSE guys can they let go by with an offense that is clearly below par?