Chicago Cubs: What the Carlos Gonzalez signing means

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs have signed former Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez to a minor league deal. What does this mean for the roster?

The Chicago Cubs have added a bit of depth to their outfield signing former Rockies slugger Carlos Gonzalez to a minor league deal. Originally signing with the Diamondbacks as an international free agent in 2002, Gonzalez has had the majority of his success with the Colorado Rockies spending 10 seasons with the team.

During that time, Gonzalez slashed 0.290/0.349/0.516 with 227 home runs and 749 RBI’s while being named to three All-Star teams, winning three Gold Gloves and two Silver Slugger awards, and earning the National League batting champion in 2010. That’s quite the resume for Gonzalez.

After the 2018 season, the Rockies chose not to re-sign him but the Indians did, albeit it was a minor league deal. Gonzalez played just six games with the Columbus Clippers and was added to the Indians 40-man roster. He had played 30 games with the team this year and slashed 0.210/0.282/0.276 with two home runs and seven RBI’s.

The Indians designated him for assignment last week and elected free agency after clearing through waivers. It makes a lot of sense for the Cubs to bring in a guy like Carlos Gonzalez. The 33-year old is well past his prime, but he figures to serve in a bench role with the team. He will reportedly start with the Triple-A squad and join the big league club shortly.

The Cubs will have to make room for him on the 40-man roster if/when they call him up. At first glance, it appears that Jim Adduci would be the guy to get designated for assignment to make room for Gonzalez. I personally like the signing. It’s a low risk, high reward move. In some fashion, it reminds me a lot of the Jim Edmonds signing in 2008 when the Cubs needed outfield depth.

So what else might this signing mean for the Cubs roster? Well, it could mean that the team really wants to make sure that Ian Happ is ready before they call him up to the big league roster. Right now, Happ would not have an everyday role and could potentially undo any progression he has made playing every day in Triple-A.

The fact that the Cubs chose to sign Carlos Gonzalez instead of bringing up Happ potentially means the front office does not feel he is ready. The other possibility is that they believe Ben Zobrist will not return this season who dealing with a personal matter off the field. The Cubs have plenty of middle infield help.

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Whether it be quality help is a totally different topic, but Zobrist was often getting his playing time in the outfield as well. With Zobrist being out and the Cubs needing some depth, they were forced to bring up Adduci who looked over matched against the Astros pitching staff.

The Carlos Gonzalez signing provides a potential power bat off the bench with great defense in the outfield. The Cubs were running thin on their bench as of late so this is a terrific signing.