Per the Chicago Cubs transaction log, outfielder Mike Tauchman has been signed to a minor league deal. Presumably he’ll be at Spring Training next month, competing for a bench job.
Tauchman, 32, spent the 2022 season in Korea, where he hit .289/.366/.430 in the KBO. Before that, he was a bit of an up-down guy for the Rockies and Yankees, and spent the 2021 season at Triple-A with the Giants (.266/.370/.438/104 wRC+), and in the big leagues with the Giants and Yankees (.181/.284/.283/62 wRC+). He was very good in a half-season for the Yankees back in 2019 (.277/.361/.504/128 wRC+), which is where you might remember the name.
Generally speaking, Tauchman is a lefty-hitting, good-baserunning, versatile outfielder, who plays good defense, and has the look of a solid bench option on the right team. I think it would probably take an injury or two for him to wind up on the Cubs’ bench for Opening Day, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good idea to have him around.
He is quality bench depth at Iowa, and with the injury questions on Alexander Canario and Brennen Davis, the Cubs probably want a little more flexibility to pull someone up from Iowa if necessary. The Cubs also have outfielder Ben DeLuzio in on a minor league deal.
Also: Mike Tauchman originally hails from the Chicago suburbs, so it’s a nice homecoming for him.
No risk here, and just some added veteran depth. A necessary part of the process.