The Chicago Cubs already started making moves towards the next season even though these kinds of moves aren’t the ones that excite the fan base.
The Cubs have inked several minor league deals in recent days, signing players like outfielder Aaron Cunningham, infielders Jeudy Valdez and Chris Valaika and catcher Eli Whiteside as they are looking to improve the talent at the upper levels of the minor league system.
It’s clear, however, that none of these players can be considered part of the future, and it would be foolish to think they can impact the MLB roster in the near future.
The only one with a decent chance to make the team is Cunningham, and he would likely be only on a bench role at some point during the season. He’s a right-handed bat with some power, a good approach and solid defense that could have a crack at a platoon role since Ryan Sweeney, Nate Schierholtz and Brian Bogusevic are all LH hitters.
Eli Whiteside was signed to be the catcher at Triple-A Iowa, and he can be the emergency third string catcher, much like J.C. Boscan was last year.
Valaika and Valdez, on the other hand, aren’t exactly promising deals due to the quantity of quality prospects the Cubs have, but they do have some things that stand out. Out of the two, Jeudy Valdez is the one with the most upside as he has posted double-digit numbers in HR and SB the last four years so he might be useful if he is able to improve this season.
The Cubs won’t go out on a spending spree this offseason, but that doesn’t mean they will be quiet this winter. They are already improving the team, and even though these moves won’t affect the Major League roster they can prove to be the depth needed on their way to a sustained success.