While everyone was busy watching what was happening with Justin Verlander, the Cubs snuck up and snagged…Leonys Martin? Okay, so the former Mariner isn’t a huge get and hasn’t done much at the big-league level, but he’s a speedster who gives the Cubs a pinch runner and defensive replacement down the stretch.
With 40-man decisions looming in the offseason, Martin presents a zero-risk acquisition in that the Cubs are basically picking up a situational player for this month. Of course, that also means parting with lefty strikeout artist Jack Leathersich in order to make room for the new guy.
An enigma if ever there was one, Leathersich has posted huge strikeout totals despite possessing only a low-90’s fastball. He uses deception to keep opponents guessing, though he frequently loses the zone and walks more than his fair share of batters. But wait, isn’t that pretty much what Dillon Maples does?
Yes, but Maples also has the kind of elite velo that can overcome other shortcomings. The 27-year-old Leathersich just has so much less room for error at the highest level and the Cubs must have felt that the deception would play quite as well. All in all, this probably isn’t a move that will impact the Cubs in either the near or long term.
Unless, of course, the Cardinals pick Leathersich up and make him a closer, at which point he’ll no doubt haunt his former team for years to come.