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The Cubs And Ender Inciarte, Trade Target

You might not think of him as a center fielder, but he's pretty good out there.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

As I had heard regarding Gerardo Parra, I had also heard rumors that the Cubs were interested in Diamondbacks outfielder Ender Inciarte last summer. So it might figure that they'd be looking at him again as a potential replacement for Dexter Fowler.

Inciarte played 76 games in center field for the D'backs in 2014 while A.J. Pollock was out with a hand injury, and played it quite well. BIS (Baseball Info Solutions) says he saved 15 runs above average defensively in CF in 2014. With Pollock back as a regular in 2015, Inciarte played mostly right field, although also saw time in left and center. He was mostly a center fielder in the minor leagues, so I presume he could handle it on a fulltime basis.

Offensively, Inciarte had a good year, hitting .303/.338/.408 (101 OPS+). He posted 5.2 bWAR, a very good figure, exactly half of that from his defense. He had a good career OBP in the minor leagues (.345) and doesn't strike out much. He stole 21 bases with 10 caught stealing in 2015, not a great ratio, but he stole 19 in 22 attempts in 2014. What I guess I'm trying to say here is that he's not an ideal leadoff man, but he could probably fill the role if the Cubs needed him to.

Inciarte finished fifth in N.L. Rookie of the Year balloting in 2014, and at age 25 in 2016 (he just turned 25 about a month ago), he might be in a position to improve his offensive numbers. Or, perhaps be a stopgap center fielder for a couple of years. He's not arb-eligble until 2017 so he'd be an inexpensive part of the starting lineup.

So, there you have the particulars. See if you can put together a reasonable trade offer for Enciarte.

This is the last entry in the "trade target" series. Later this morning, Rob Huff will have a detailed preview of what the Cubs might do in the Winter Meetings, which begin next Monday.