CHICAGO – In a perfect world, one of the outfielders acquired late in the 2019 season by the Cubs would be making his way back to the club for 2020.
But Nick Castellanos is off to division rival Cincinnati on a four-year, $64 million deal as the Cubs continued to stay quiet when it came free agent deals this offseason. It’s not a surprise for fans since Theo Epstein said the team would be prudent with spending since a number of their core players up for major raises in the next few years.
That doesn’t make it any less frustrating for those hoping the team regains some steam in this current era under new David Ross in 2020. But at least they officially reached a deal with a major league player on Tuesday evening.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) January 29, 2020
The Cubs signed former Diamondbacks outfielder Steven Souza Jr. to a one-year deal, and this acquisition could be viewed as the other one that the Cubs reportedly made on Tuesday. Like reliever Jeremy Jeffress, the Cubs are hoping that the outfielder can find the magic he had in the past.
Souza’s moment came with the Rays back in 2017, when he hit 30 homers with 78 RBI while posting a slash line of .239/.351/.459.
Whether Souza can do that or not is a major question, considering that he 72 games the last two seasons in Arizona. All of those came in 2018 with the Diamondbacks, where strained right pectoral muscle limited him that season and a torn ACL in spring training cost him the entire 2019 campaign.
He’s now in a Cubs outfield group that’s still searching for a full time center fielder to put in with Kyle Schwarber in left and Jason Heyward in right. Souza primarily played right field during his career, playing just four games in left field and eight in center, with the other 425 contests in the field coming in right.