Cubs To Sign Trey Mancini

The Cubs have agreed to signal Trey Mancini to a two-year contract, in accordance with ESPN’s Jesse Rogers (Twitter hyperlink). Mancini, a shopper of the Frontline company, can choose out of the deal following the 2023 season if he amasses at the very least 350 plate appearances within the first yr of the contract, 670 The Score’s Bruce Levine experiences (by way of Twitter). Also from Levine, Mancini will earn $14MM in assured cash over the 2 years of the deal, and one other $7MM is obtainable in bonus clauses associated to plate appearances.

Reports linking Mancini to the Cubs first surfaced in December, and regardless that Chicago addressed its first base want by signing Eric Hosmer simply over every week in the past, the Wrigleyville membership maintained its curiosity in Mancini’s companies. Of course, Mancini may play each nook outfield spots along with first base, and Mancini’s right-handed bat gives a pleasant complement to left-swingers Hosmer and Matt Mervis within the first base/DH combine.

As Rogers indicated in a follow-up tweet, Mervis may now be slated to start 2023 in Triple-A, reasonably than instantly step into an everyday position within the Cubs lineup in his first style of MLB motion. Mervis is coming into solely his third season of affiliated baseball, and whereas Mervis roughly got here out of nowhere to shred minor league pitching in 2022, it appears just like the Cubs would like to ease Mervis into the large leagues, and rely extra on established veterans like Mancini and Hosmer at the very least within the early a part of the 2023 marketing campaign.

After spending his total profession with the Orioles, Mancini is now enjoying for his third group in lower than six months, following the commerce deadline transfer that despatched Mancini from Baltimore to Houston. Mancini’s time with the Astros paid off within the largest kind attainable as soon as Houston captured the World Series, though Mancini himself wasn’t a giant a part of that push to the championship. Mancini hit solely .176/.258/.364 over 186 plate appearances with the Astros through the common season, after which had solely a single hit over 24 PA within the playoffs.

With this underwhelming end in thoughts, it is not shocking that Mancini and his representatives sought out an opt-out clause, as a extra spectacular platform yr might set Mancini up properly for a pricier contract subsequent winter. Mancini turns 31 in March, however even when he re-enters the market subsequent winter prematurely of his age-32 season, the veteran ought to nonetheless be ready to land a strong multi-year dedication if he returns to his outdated kind. Mancini hasn’t been in that prime kind since 2019, though clearly some very troublesome circumstances have interfered in his profession path.

After lacking the complete 2020 season because of a battle with Stage 3 colon most cancers, Mancini performed in 147 video games with the Orioles in 2021, profitable AL Comeback Player Of The Year honors for his inspirational return. Mancini obtained off to a powerful begin on the plate that yr earlier than fading down the stretch, as he needed to get re-acclimated after lacking a full season. Mancini’s historically sturdy manufacturing at Camden Yards took a dip, because the right-handed hitter was naturally impacted by the Orioles’ determination to maneuver again to the left-field fences previous to the 2022 season. The consequence was a modest .283/.338/.411 slash line over 198 PA at Camden Yards final yr, properly beneath his profession norms.

All in all, Mancini has hit .247/.323/.412 over 1203 PA for the reason that begin of the 2021 marketing campaign, translating to a 104 wRC+ that’s solely barely above the league common. Between the brand new dimensions in Baltimore and the midseason adjustment to enjoying in Houston, Mancini’s bat might re-awaken just by enjoying his house video games within the pleasant confines of Wrigley Field. In addition, Mancini has now had a full and regular offseason, as even final winter’s preparations had been interrupted by the lockout.

It has been a busy offseason for Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer, who has aggressively added veteran expertise to be able to flip the Cubs again in direction of rivalry after many of the final two seasons had been spent in a rebuild. Like Mancini’s deal, many of the contracts have been shorter-term preparations, reminiscent of a one-year cope with Cody Bellingeror the Hosmer signing for a minimal wage (for the reason that Padres are nonetheless on the hook for the rest of Hosmer’s contract).

Beyond these shorter offers, Chicago additionally splurged in inking Dansby Swanson to a seven-year, $177MM contract and Jameson Taillon to a four-year deal value $68MM. Roster Resource projected the Cubs for roughly a $176.6MM payroll earlier than Mancini’s $7MM common annual worth was added to the combination, so there may very well be extra spending capability for additional strikes contemplating the Cubs spent properly over the $200MM mark as just lately as 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

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