The Cubs make the right move
But will they use their new player the right way?
Well, I’ll be. I didn’t know Jed had it in him. It really seemed like the best we could hope for as Cubs’ fans was the team just not trading away Cody Bellinger. Acquiring someone who might add some impact seemed a bridge too far.
But the Cubs made an aggressive trade, acquiring old friend Jeimer Candelario and making the Prospect Perverts weep at the loss of minor leaguers Kevin Made and DJ Herz.
It’s a seller’s market (as Jed will tell you between sobs) and Candelario is most likely the best hitter that will be moved at the deadline. Everything’s relative. Jeimer’s a career .243 hitter who played 16 games for the Cubs in 2016 and 2017 before he was traded with Isaac Paredes for…
…Justin Wilson at the trade deadline six years ago.
Jeimer really struggled last year, slashing just .217/.272/.361 and the Tigers non-tendered him, so the Cubs (and any other team) could have had him for practically nothing. The Nationals signed him for $5 million and ended up getting two of the Cubs incredible can’t miss collection of prospects in return.
But prior to 2022, Candelario had a good run in Detroit. He slashed .297/.369/.503 in the pandemic season, he led the American League in doubles with 42 the next season and slashed .271/.351/.443.
And so far this year with the Nats he’s hit .258/.342/.481 with 16 homers and 53 RBI. Those numbers would have him tied for the team lead in homers with Patrick Wisdom and second in RBI to Nico Hoerner.
It’s a good move for the Cubs, because even with Nicky Try Hard, third base has been a black hole for this team. Cubs third basemen have combined to hit just .234/.319/.412. Jeimer would seem a great bet to fix that. If that’s where he plays.
In his career he has also played 64 games at first base, and Cubs first basemen have been even worse (.236/.295/.385).
There’s a good chance that the Cubs stick with their recently installed regular lineup against righties where Cody Bellinger plays first and Mike Tachman plays center (and nonsensically leads off), with Jeimer playing third.
And you could also see the lineup against lefties feature Nick Madrigal at third and Jeimer at first.
Then again, this is a David Ross production, so you could very well see Jeimer playing first a lot against both kinds of pitching. That would make little sense, which is why it might appeal to Ross.
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