Cubs News

Cubs keep offseason additions coming with 4 minor league signings

1 year agoAndy Martinez

A busy offseason for the Cubs continued with some smaller, under-the-radar moves.

The Cubs signed infielder Sergio Alcántara, outfielder Ben DeLuzio, left-handed pitcher Roenis Elías and left-handed pitcher Eric Stout to minor league contracts with major league Spring Training invites.

Right-handed pitcher Nick Burdi, whom the Cubs selected in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft earlier this month in San Diego, will be a major league Spring Training invite.

Alcántara and Stout have spent time in the Cubs organization in the past. In 2021, Alcántara, 26, played in 89 games with the team, posting a .630 OPS and was worth 6 outs above average as a defender at shortstop. Alcántara could provide defensive depth for the Cubs in case of an injury at the major-league level.

Stout made 2 appearances for the Cubs in 2022, allowing 2 runs and 3 hits across 3.2 innings with 6 strikeouts. He was working on a slider in his time with the Cubs before he was designated for assignment and finished the year out in Pittsburgh. Opposing hitters had an expected-batting average of .176 against Stout’s slider. The Cubs bullpen is thin in the left-handed department, so a strong performance could allow the Chicagoland native to break through.

DeLuzio, 28, made his major-league debut in 2022, appearing in 22 games for the Cardinals, going 3-for-20 with a double in that time. In 6 minor-league seasons, he’s hit .290/.361/.412 with 140 stolen bases and has been lauded for his defense patrolling the outfield. His addition could continue to provide defensive cover for the Cubs in the outfield — an area where two of the three spots are manned by Gold Glovers (Ian Happ and Cody Bellinger).

Elías appeared in 7 games in 2022 with the Mariners, striking out 6 across 7.2 innings and allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks. He’s had a strong performance in the Dominican Winter League this season with Aguilas Cibaeñas, pitching to a 0.92 ERA, 0.769 WHIP and 38 strikeouts across 39 innings. Tommy John surgery caused him to miss the 2021 season. He began his career as a starter and could provide long-relief or spot start depth.

Burdi, 29, is a former second-round pick, but hasn’t pitched since 2020. He underwent Tommy John surgery in late 2020. He’s a local product — Burdi went to Downers Grove South. The Cubs are taking a flyer on him, hoping they can tap into the potential that the Twins saw when they took him in the second round in 2014. He’s made 16 major-league appearances with the Pirates, pitching to a 9.49 ERA in 12.1 innings with 23 strikeouts.

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