Yonathan Perlaza – Picture by Micah Manuel/Tennessee Smokies
Now that the minor league season is complete, the Cubs have until the day after the World Series to consider re-signing some of their own minor-league free agents. It’s a list of barely over 30 players, some of them are on restricted list and haven’t been seen for a few years but there are a few players worth talking about bringing back.
Here is the full list:
Jose Albertos, James Bourque, Craig Brooks, Jesus Camargo, Erick Castillo, Kervin Castro, Zach Davis, Donnie Dewees, Jackson Frazier, Trent Giambrone, Stephen Gonsalves, John Hicks, Jonathan Holder, Bryan Hudson, Dakota Mekkes, Sean Newcomb, Tyler Payne, C. D. Pelham, Yonathan Perlaza, Carlos Sepulveda, Wyatt Short, Jonathan Sierra, Matt Swarmer, Dauris Valdez, and Delvin Zinn.
The following players are second contract players and could be free agents – their contract status is uncertain.
Michael Arias, Andres Bonalde, Stanley Guzman, Kyle Johnson, Fraiman Marte, Abel Moya, Dalton Stambaugh, Tim Susnara, and Harrison Wenson
When talking about re-signing players, there are a few things to take into consideration. One, is the player going to provide depth for the major league squad? Two, is there someone from Tennessee who could take that spot? And three, is there any more that they can do with that prospect?
One name that just jumps right out of the list is Yonathan Perlaza.
Since the beginning of May, he’s had a great season in Double-A. He’s going to latch on with another team pretty quickly if the Cubs do not re-sign him. As well, he deserves a shot at Triple-A. The fact that he is a switch hitter only adds to his value as he has pop from both sides of the plate. It’s hard to let that kind of value just walk. Since June 1, he has a 138 wRC+!!!
I know this sounds strange, but the Cubs should really re-sign Wyatt Short and Bryan Hudson. The main reason for that is to provide lefty reliever depth for the major league squad, but the Tennessee bullpen is not ready to have a bunch of guys head to Iowa en maase. Hudson is pretty close to being ready for his MLB tryout while Short may have a second career as a starter. Pressed into service this fall, Short was actually very good at Triple-A. Over his last four starts he allowed three runs in 20 innings. That’s pretty good. Whether he would sign a contract is up in the air?
The biggest concern about re-signing free agency is which catchers do ythey bring back. Will Erick Castillo re-up for what seems like to be a 15th year? Will John Hicks bet on himself after an outstanding 2022 and try and latch on with someone else? The Cubs can say they want to re-sign someone, but it’s really up to the player. Thefree agents have all the power and Hick’s bat showed plenty of pop in the second half of the year. The Cubs could bring back Tyler Payne and Castillo, but with Riley Thompson coming up From Tennessee and possibly Ben Brown, the Cubs may want someone who’s a little more amiliar with them behind the plate. That could be worked on in spring training, but whether they think Windham and Wenson are ready for the job along with Tim Susnara is really was going to drive the catching decision. As well, Miguel Amaya’s status could determine everything.
There’s a lot to take in consideration after each player on a case-by-case basis. And do the Cubs let someone with Zach Davis‘ speed go? Did they give Donnie Dewees another chance after basically missing 2 years with an injury? Has CD Pelham shown enough to be asked back? And what about Delvin Zinn? Will he get one last chance?
The biggest factor for me is if they have somebody to replace them at Iowa. There are lots of guys at South Bend who are ready to come up to Tennessee but are the Tennessee guys ready to head up to Iowa? You’re looking at Strumpf, Slaughter, Ball, Weber, Perlaza, Riley Thompson, Walker Powell, and a few more who could come up to start 2023 in Des Moines.
We will be on top of things when the signings happen or they don’t.