Cubs Adding Franmil Reyes Following Cleveland DFA

As Sahadev Sharma tweeted Monday afternoon, the Cubs are adding outfielder/DH Franmil Reyes after he was DFA’d by Cleveland last week. The 27-year-old is a big dude with big power, but he’s having a rough year with a ton of strikeouts and very few walks. At a cost of just $1.5 million, there’s very little risk to a team that isn’t worried about the postseason.

Reyes has served primarily as a DH this season and over the course of his career, but he’s also played quite a bit of right field. If he does stick around via arbitration next season, he figures to be more of a DH or bench bat. A right-handed batter, he has pretty even platoon splits and actually slugs a little better against right-handed pitching.

There’s not a whole lot to like about a .213 average and 37.1% strikeout rate with a mere 5.0% walk rate, plus the slug is way down. Put it together and Reyes has just a 69 wRC+ and -0.9 fWAR. Maybe there are some intangibles or the Cubs see something they feel they can turn around and get back to his previous production.

Sharma noted that Reyes has a reputation as a strong clubhouse guy, and GM Carter Hawkins is familiar with him from his days in Cleveland. I’m interested to see what the corresponding move will be and how this impacts the club’s future planning, if indeed there’s any impact at all. Reyes has a very similar profile to Patrick Wisdom and he doesn’t really have a spot in the outfield, plus there’s a 40-man crunch coming this offseason.

We’ll update this as more details become available.

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