The Chicago Cubs off season of discontent goes on, leaving several fans with a feeling of less than excitement. Moves being made that leave some fans scratching their heads and wondering just what the Cubs are doing with their time and money and one simple question..
With free agent signings of Tommy Hottovy, Liam Hendriks, Ryan Roberts, Ryan Kalish and John Baker to minor league deals, on top of a trade for Justin Ruggiano fans are left scratching their heads. Some are wonder what the Cubs are up to signing these no names to contracts instead of spending money on actual talent to help them win the World Series, or at very least compete for one.
The bottom line is that Hottovy, Hendriks, Kalish and Baker were signed to minor league contracts which pay next to nothing. They were signed for minor league depth, and not to be on the major league roster. At least that is not the initial plans for them. Every team must have a full minor league roster, most of whom are cast offs who you have never heard of, and may never hear of again.
Some fans might wonder why teams keep signing no-names, but teams are not going to sign stud players for their minor league systems. No established player will ever sign for a minor league deal unless he is either coming back from a serious injury or he is on the tail end of his career looking to land one last chance at playing in the major leagues. You may not like all these no name players being signed, but every team signs them throughout the off season. They fill a basic need.
Roberts on the other hand, while signing a minor league contract, might get looks for the Cubs bench. If Darwin Barney is traded, then he could be in the competition for the starting second base job assuming the Cubs do not sign another player to act as a place holder for Javier Baez or Arismendy Alcantara are ready to take over the every day second base job.
Ruggiano on the other hand was targeted by the Cubs and brought in by trade for a specific reason and will be on the main roster. He will likely serve as Nate Schierholtz’s right handed platoon. As we all know, Schierholtz struggles to hit left handed pitching, just as Ruggiano struggles to hit right handed pitching. They are a perfect platoon pairing who should help see the Cubs outfield production increase.
Sure, I would love to see the Cubs spend on a player who actually matters at the major league level, but I see no reason to complain about the players they sign to be organizational depth. Teams need depth in the system, and there is only one way to fill the need. By signing guys you may never have heard of, and might never hear of again to minor league deals.