Cubs Sign Edwin Ríos to Big League Deal

Apologies for simply sharing a press release, but I just got back from a down-and-back commute to St. Louis. All I will offer is that I find it odd that the Cubs added an infielder when they already have like 12 of them. Then again, he’s a third baseman who bats left-handed and those are both things the Cubs need.

The Chicago Cubs today agreed to terms with infielder Edwin Ríos on a one-year major league contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. In a corresponding move, right-handed pitcher Ethan Roberts has been placed on the 60-day injured list while continuing to recover from Tommy John surgery.

Ríos, 28, has played in parts of four seasons (2019-22) with the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting .219 (57-for-260) with nine doubles, one triple, 20 home runs and 43 RBI in 112 career games. He has seen time predominantly at third base (36 games) and first base (32 games) as well as brief time in right field and left field. Ríos has averaged one home run every 13.0 at-bats and appeared in seven post-season games during the Dodgers 2020 World Series championship run.

Ríos opened last season with the Dodgers and batted .244 (21-for-86) with a double, seven home runs and 17 RBI in 27 games before he was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right hamstring strain June 3. He had a rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City starting July 28before he was activated off the I.L. and optioned to Triple-A August 16. Ríos hit .259 (49-for-189) with 17 doubles, nine home runs and 39 RBI in 48 games for Oklahoma City, with 20 walks contributing to a .339 on-base percentage.

The left-handed hitting Ríos owns a .291 average (541-for-1,859) with a .347 on-base percentage, .882 OPS, 132 doubles, four triples, 104 home runs and 365 RBI in 498 career minor league contests. In 2017, he was selected toBaseball America’s Double-A All-Star squad and the Texas League Mid-Season All-Star team with Tulsa. The previous season, he was named the 2016 Dodgers Branch Rickey Minor League Player of the Year after hitting .301 with 26 doubles, 27 home runs and 76 RBI in 108 games between Single-A Great Lakes, High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Tulsa.

The six-foot three-inch Ríos was selected by the Dodgers in the sixth round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of Florida International University.

Roberts, 25, made the Cubs Opening Day roster in 2022 and pitched in nine games with an 8.22 ERA (7 ER/7.2 IP) before he landed on the 10-day injured list April 30 with right shoulder inflammation. While on rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa, he was pulled from his outing June 19which led to Tommy John surgery July 13.

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