While it’s been all quiet on the midwestern front, the Chicago Cubs have made some small moves, bringing in Jim Adduci and Phillip Evans on minor league deals.
The “hot stove” has been far from hot for the Chicago Cubs this offseason. While virtually every National League Central team has been making significant moves, the Cubs have been idly standing by. Nevertheless, moves are moves, and the club has announced a couple of new ones.
Jim Adduci, a first baseman/outfielder formerly with the Detroit Tigers, makes his return to the Cubs organization, with whom he spent many years in the minor league ranks. Phillip Evans, meanwhile, leaves the New York Mets, where he saw some time at the major league level in 2018.
Another left-handed option
Adduci was originally drafted by the Florida Marlins back in 2006 well before they became the Miami Marlins. Shortly after that, Adduci was shipped to the North Side of Chicago for ‘future considerations.’
He spent a good chunk of his professional career in Chicago, spanning from 2007 until 2012 where the Texas Rangers signed him as a free agent. His first year with the Cubs, in Low-A, Adduci slashed a promising .292/.345/.362 with two home runs, 48 runs batted in and an impressive 20 stolen bases.
By 2012, Adduci made his way to Triple-A. He slashed .306/.377/.435 in 42 games at Iowa. Then, the year after he left Chicago, Adduci found his power stroke mashing 16 home runs at Triple-A for the Rangers. Unfortunately, he could not carry that into the big leagues as his debut was marred with disappointment.
After two years playing in Korea for the Lotte Giants, Adduci returned to the United States, landing with the Detroit Tigers, where he has been for the previous two seasons.
Over that span, he’s found below-average production slashing .259/.301/.390 with a .691 OPS. Adduci posted just an 85 wRC+. At just 33 years old, his presence as a left-handed option could provide depth moving into the new season.
Jack of all trades
Phillip Evans is the second move for the Cubs. Evans was a 15th-round selection in the 2011 MLB Amateur Player draft by the New York Mets. While working his way through the system as primarily a second and third baseman, Evans does possess the capacity to play the outfield and shortstop.
Evans is also just 26 years old. He does not, however, carry a considerable amount of Major League level experience as he has accumulated only 61 total plate appearances. Over that time, Evans owns a career .241/.328/.278 line with a .606 OPS and 74 wRC+.
Last season, Evans bombed pretty severely, striking out at a 34.8 percent clip. He slashed just .143/.217/.143 with a laughably porous 8 wRC+, across 23 plate appearances. Still, Evans could provide depth much needed for the Cubs moving into the new season.
A realistic shot?
The chances are that neither guy makes an impact in 2019 for the Cubs. If we were to flip a coin, the odds are that Adduci possesses the higher likelihood of producing something while there could be a better opportunity for Evans due to his age and versatility.
These moves are of little significance beyond that of additional depth, but be that as it may, you never know how spring training will shake out. Best case scenario for the Cubs is both guys become options at the very least to turn to throughout the year.