Wednesday, April 17, 2024

A Brief Moment of Panic After Cubs Sign Free Agent Outfielder


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This should be pretty obvious, but I won’t lie, when I first saw Robert Murray report that the Cubs signed free agent outfielder David Peralta I too had a brief moment of panic. And then a few minutes later we found out that Peralta is only signing a minor league deal with the Cubs. So yeah, there is no need to panic about the Cubs all of a sudden moving on from Cody Bellinger because they signed 36-year-old David Peralta.

I’m not saying you as a Cubs fan should be thrilled about this move either. While Jed Hoyer and his front office has had success in finding veteran relievers to be useful out of the bullpen in the past few years, the acquisition of bench bats hasn’t yielded as many positive results. But hey, it’s a minor league signing, there’s no risk involved here at all with Peralta.

Looking at the Cubs roster, there isn’t much depth from the left side. Peralta is going to join the Cubs in spring training in hopes of winning a bench job, while also being an option at DH against right-handed pitching.

Peralta, who won a gold glove in 2019 in left field for the Arizona Diamondbacks, had another solid year defensively with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2023. However, the left-handed hitter struggled last season, slashing .259/.294/.381, with an 82 wRC+ in 422 plate appearances.

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Who knows, maybe Peralta just had a rough year because 2023 was by far his worst showing at the plate since 2016, when he only played in 48 games with the Diamondbacks. In his previous three seasons before 2023, (full seasons) Peralta was an above average hitter, recording a wRC+ of 106, 106 and 105 in 2019, 2021 and 2022, respectively.

In Bleacher Nation’s write up, Brett Taylor brought up how Peralta struggled against high velocity in 2023, which may have led to his bad results. However, maybe there was some flukiness involved because Peralta faced the highest average fastball velocity of his career.

I just don’t know that this move has much legs. Peralta doesn’t hit for much power anymore and OK, his defense is still good, but Pete Crow Armstrong is good defensively, too, so just give him that playing time. Although I am in the belief that PCA needs to be playing every day at Triple-A if he doesn’t earn the starting job in center field in spring training.

And well that brings us back to Bellinger. He is still very much on the table for the Cubs and having David Peralta in camp does not change that whatsoever.

Finally, if Peralta does look good in Arizona and wins a bench spot, then I’ll be all in on him because he does have a stellar walk-up song that he hopefully will still use with the Cubs.

Trust me, it’s a banger.

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