No, we don’t have any exciting updates to share about the ongoing MLB lockout or a new CBA deal. In fact, the latest news from yesterday’s meeting between the player’s association and the league tells us that things are moving a little slower than we would hope. According to the reports, yesterday’s included the MLBPA countering the league’s offer, and it only lasted about 15 minutes.
Now, if you’re a guy like DeMar DeRozan, 15 minutes is plenty of game time to ruin a team’s hopes in the second half. But, when it comes to a meeting between a professional sports league and it’s player’s association, that’s not a lot of time.
Despite the stalemate, we still have some interesting baseball news to share! Last week, Rob Manfred announced that the universal designated hitter position will be established for National League teams starting next season. For us Chicago baseball fans, this change only impacts one of our teams: the Cubs. What does it mean for them and who could we see fill the spot? Let’s find out!
A Friendly Face
Up first for players who could fill the MLB’s designated hitter role for the Cubs is one familiar face: Anthony Rizzo. Rumors about a potential pursuit of Rizzo by the Chicago Cub circulated the MLB headlines a few weeks back, and if there’s any truth to them, it’s one of our favorite options. Nothing can happen while the lockout continues, but as a free-agent who’s a bit older in the league, he could be a promising and less expensive choice for the club. Heck, he’s only been gone for less than half a season so it’s not like he’s missed much. Any team who signs Anthony Rizzo this offseason is going to improve their club, and if it happens to be the Cubs, well, we won’t complain. Bring him home!
A Current Player
Next on our list for guys who could fill the designated hitter role is current Chicago Cub, Frank Schwindel. Schwindel joined the roster last season, and with the way his year went, making him the designated DH could be an interesting option. During his 56 games with the Cubs he achieved a .342 BA, 13 homeruns, and a 165 OPS+. At that rate, those stats are pretty unsustainable for any MLB player. Especially the batting average. Not to say that Schwindel could get on a streak like that again, because he clearly did it before, but it’s pretty safe to expect some regression. Regardless of how the Cubs choose to work with Schwindel, it’s clear they should consider him for the universal designated hitter position.
This next player is also a current free-agent that the Chicago Cubs could target, but he hasn’t donned their uniforms before. His name is Daniel Vogelbach, and he’s a former member of the Milwaukee Brewers. Now, if the Cubs are looking to stick it to their NL Central rivals and add a strong bat to their lineup, Vogelbach could be the guy. For his career, he has a high OBP of .336, and he offers plenty of power to get things going offensively. Plus, it could be an awesome signing for Vogelbach, because even though he never played for the Cubs, we actually drafted him in the second round of the 2011 MLB June Amateur Draft. Maybe it’s about time he got his shot!
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