While it has not been officially reported by the team, multiple reports are stating that Chicago Cubs outfielder Ryan Sweeney is on his way back to the big leagues, taking the place of Dave Sappelt. Even though Sweeney has been killing Triple-A pitching at Iowa and Sappelt has been struggling with the major league team, this seems like a very interesting move.
Early this season, Cubs manager Dale Sveum has gone with a straight platoon in the outfield with the exception of Alfonso Soriano in left field. Against right-handed pitching, David DeJesus plays center field and Nate Schierholtz plays right field. Against left-handed pitching, Sappelt has been manning center and Scott Hairston has been in right.
The addition of Sweeney in favor of Sappelt is a little confusing to me when you look at the current roster. Julio Borbon is also on the roster, so the Cubs have six guys that only play outfield on their 25-man roster, three of whom are left-handed center field types.
I think that Theo Epstein and company may have a trade on the horizon. Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer have made it obvious that they are willing to trade pretty much anyone on the roster in the right deal to help the future of the team.
The most obvious guy that would be traded because of the excess of outfielders would be DeJesus. While he probably would not bring a huge return, he could be a valuable piece that teams looking for outfield help may like.
This move could simply be a one-for-one swap of outfielders. That being said, with the way the current roster is constructed, it seems like a weird move. I think there is a decent chance of a trade in the very near future. I know I will keeping an extra eye on the transaction wire over the next couple of days.