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Journeyman Brandon Drury Makes Too Much Sense for Cubs

Until he signed with Houston for three years and $59.5 million, Jose Abreu was thought of one of many Cubs’ high offensive targets. With him off the board and that going price for beginning pitchers Jed Hoyer is teetering larger by the minute and will must cope with creating an offense that may blow groups away. It will probably be particularly necessary enhance their firepower if they aim Dansby Swanson among the many high 4 shortstops.

Enter Brandon Drury, the reigning NL silver slugger within the utility class after a season by which he hit 28 homers with a 123 wRC+ between the Reds and the Padres. Drury is a journeyman who has served time at seven totally different organizations in 10 years, however he actually proved himself final season after a profession full of trades, assignments and untimely accidents.

To that finish, he already has a boatload of further Cubs connections relationship again to his minor league days. Drury performed his first sport within the Diamondbacks system for the South Bend Silver Hawks, who’ve since turn out to be the South Bend Cubs. He was finally traded to the Yankees in a cope with Steven Souza Jr. and traded to the Blue Jays together with Billy McKinney a number of months later.

The man is a daily Pepe Sylvia of Cubs-related odds and ends.

Drury, 30, may very well be in line for a way more direct connection because the Cubs look so as to add pop and need assistance at three totally different infield positions. While he largely performed third base and recorded 513 innings there in 2022, Drury made 24 begins on first and 23 on second for a complete of 412 innings between the 2. He’s been satisfactory in any respect in his profession and nice at none, which is about what you’d anticipate from a utility participant.

Even if the Cubs land a high shortstop, they’re going to wish to add a bit redundancy within the infield to make up for accidents and deliberate relaxation days. Nico Hoerner hasn’t confirmed he can keep wholesome, Matt Mervis hasn’t gotten a plate look on the large league stage and the mix of Christopher Morel and Patrick Wisdom has struggled with protection and consistency on the plate.

Drury is actually Wisdom with a a lot larger ground, a right-handed hitter nearly precisely a yr youthful, with rather less pop and quite a bit much less swing-and-miss. The former Red matches greatest into the function Abreu would have stuffed, initially serving as a DH whereas on the platoon with Mervis when the Cubs needed to ease the rookie in opposition to exhausting left pitching. Drury destroyed lefties in 1921 with a .299 common and 160 wRC+, however he nonetheless averaged 109 wRC+ and hit righties much less usually.

Kylie McDaniel ranked Drury as the #20 free agent in that class — forward of different potential Cubs targets Josh Bell (31), Trey Mancini (unranked), Yuli Gurriel (UR) and Wil Myers (UR) — and provided a wage forecast of $33 million over three years. However, McDaniel famous that “something like $8 million to $11 million a year for two or three years would make sense.” Landing Drury at two years and $16 million may very well be a steal.

I’m positive a number of individuals who have really made it this far, and most who have not, will say this does not transfer the needle and the Cubs must do extra. Well, yeah, no shit. This is the sort of supplemental acquisition that good groups make once they’ve both already made a a lot greater transfer or know they’re about to take action. Not a foul concept to safe three totally different positions for lower than half what Abreu acquired.

Gosh, now it seems like I’m justifying essentially the most parsimonious definition of “smart spend” doable, which is not my objective in any respect. Rather, I’m saying the Cubs must throw some huge cash at Carlos Correa or Xander Bogaerts after which replenish elsewhere to make sure roster steadiness. Speaking of which, they have already got two helpful gamers in Miles Mastrobuoni and Zach McKinstry that make Drury really feel a bit overdone.

The large distinction is that M&M has mixed for 78 skilled homers in 14 seasons, whereas Drury has hit 79 in elements of eight MLB campaigns. Power is in excessive demand on the North Side and the Cubs must get all they’ll this winter.

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