The Cubs have agreed to signal Trey Mancini to a two-year contract, in accordance with ESPN’s Jesse Rogers (Twitter hyperlink). Mancini, a consumer of the Frontline company, can decide out of the deal following the 2023 season.
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 per week in the past, the Wrigleyville membership maintained its curiosity in Mancini’s companies. Of course, Mancini may also play each nook outfield spots along with first base, and Mancini’s right-handed bat gives a pleasant complement to lefty-swingers Hosmer and Matt Mervis within the first base/DH combine.
As Rogers indicated in a follow-up tweet, Mervis would possibly now be slated to start 2023 in Triple-A, relatively than instantly step into an everyday function 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 kind of got here out of nowhere to shred minor league pitching in 2022, it appears to be like just like the Cubs would favor to ease Mervis into the massive leagues, and rely extra on established veterans like Mancini and Hosmer at the least within the early a part of the 2023 marketing campaign.
After spending his complete 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 attainable kind 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age-32 season, the veteran ought to nonetheless be ready to land a strong multi-year dedication if he returns to his outdated kind.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 high kind since 2019, though clearly some very tough circumstances have interfered in his profession path.
After lacking the complete 2020 season as a result of a battle with Stage 3 colon most cancers, Mancini performed in 147 video games with the Orioles in 2021, successful AL Comeback Player Of The Year honors for his inspirational return. Mancini received off to a robust 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 robust manufacturing at Camden Yards took a dip, because the right-handed hitter was naturally impacted by the Orioles’ resolution to maneuver again to the left-field fences previous to the 2022 season. The end result 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 because the 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 residence video games within the Friendly 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 with a view to flip the Cubs again in the direction of competition after a lot of the final two seasons had been spent in a rebuild. Like Mancini’s deal, a lot of the contracts have been shorter-term preparations, similar to a one-year cope with Cody Bellingeror the Hosmer signing for a minimal wage (because the 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. The price ticket of Mancini’s deal is not but recognized, however with the Cubs projected for roughly a $176.6MM payroll earlier than Mancini’s signing, there might be extra spending capability for additional strikes contemplating the crew was properly over the $200MM mark as not too long ago as 2019 .
More to come back…