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Cubs free agent target: Trey Mancini

Here’s another player who has been linked to Cubs rumors.

Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

I chose a photo of Trey Mancini in an Orioles uniform for this post for a reason.

Reason: Mancini hit very poorly after he was traded to the Astros at the deadline last summer. In 51 games for Houston he batted .176/.258/.364 (29-for-165) with eight home runs and 49 strikeouts. That’s... not good. He also went just 1-for-21 in the postseason for Houston with eight strikeouts.

Mancini, as you might know, is a cancer survivor. He was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in the spring of 2020, had surgery and missed that entire season. He came back to Baltimore in 2021 and had a fine year, batting .255/.326/.432 with 21 home runs in 147 games and was named American League Comeback Player of the Year.

So the question remains: Is his 2022 performance the sign of a decline, or a fluky bad year?

But wait, you’re thinking, maybe Mancini could be the righthanded half of a platoon at first base with Matt Mervis.

His platoon splits are all over the place. In 2019 he hit about the same vs. LHP (.910 OPS) as RHP (.893 OPS), and he did better in 2021: .899 OPS in 223 PA vs. LHP, .680 OPS vs. RHP. In 2022, though, he actually hit better against righthanded pitching (.738 OPS) than lefties (.650 OPS).

So, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Mancini can still play the outfield, a bit, as he started 31 games there in 2022 (11 in right field, 20 in left field). He’s an average defender in the outfield at best. First base is probably his best defensive position at this point. He turns 31 in March.

If the Cubs were to sign him, they’d have to hope for a rebound from a mediocre 2022. I wouldn’t give him anything but a base salary plus incentives for games played or plate appearances. He made $7.5 million in 2022, and was paid a $250,000 buyout to make him a free agent.

So I’m not going to suggest a specific dollar amount for him. Perhaps you have an idea.

Poll

Trey Mancini...

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    ... the Cubs should sign him
    (440 votes)
  • 45%
    ... the Cubs should not sign him
    (404 votes)
  • 5%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (47 votes)
891 votes total Vote Now