The Cubs have just four outfielders on their 40-man roster: Phillip Ervin, Ian Happ, Jason Heyward and Joc Pederson.
They have now added another one:
The team has not officially announced this signing and at this time it’s not clear whether this is a minor-league deal with a spring-training invite, or a major-league contract. If the latter, someone will have to be removed from the 40-man roster, as it’s currently full.
Jake Marisnick is an excellent defensive outfielder who has struggled to hit at times. His best offensive season was 2017, when he hit .243/.319/.496 with 16 home runs in 259 plate appearances with the Astros. He was originally drafted by the Blue Jays in the third round in 2009 and swapped to the Marlins in 2012. Then he was traded to Houston in 2014 and in December 2019, dealt to the Mets, where he hit .333/.353/.606 in a small sample size (11-for-33, two home runs).
Marisnick, who turns 30 next month, has played most of his career outfield games in center field. The Cubs could use a guy like that on the bench. He seems a good selection for a fifth outfielder. He’s basically Albert Almora Jr. with more power and a few more strikeouts.
I will update this post when more details on what type of contract this is are available.
Marisnick Cubs deal is one year plus a mutual option with a buyout. Guarantee believed to be about $1.5M.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 11, 2021
This is about what Almora would have received in arbitration. Marisnick is a slightly better player. This is thus a 40-man roster signing, so someone will have to be let go.
UPDATE with more details on the contract numbers:
The Cubs indeed have an agreement with OF Jake Marisnick on a one-year deal with a 2022 mutual option, pending physical, per sources.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) February 11, 2021
Deal comes with $1M salary in '21 with $4M option (or $500K buyout) for '22.@jonmorosi first with agreement.
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