Patrick Wisdom picked the wrong time to start blasting homers if he wants to remain with the Cubs. If he’s looking for a ticket out of town, however, his power is exactly what a contending team will be looking for to get them over the top in October. While his .228 average since being called up on May 25 of last year doesn’t stand out, his 47 homers in that time are tied for 11th in MLB and his .261 ISO is 13th.
Assuming Shohei Ohtani won’t actually be moved prior to August 2, Wisdom is easily the best pure power hitter available. His splits aren’t very stark and he can play all four corner spots in addition to serving as DH for a team that has better defensive options, so there is actually a fair bit of versatility to go with the carrying skill.
That power helped the Cubs to a victory in San Francisco Friday night and gave them their only offense in a loss the previous evening, but it’s largely wasted by a team that isn’t competing. Put him on a team that’s looking to make a playoff run and needs more pop, and you could be looking at a difference-making bat. I know a lot of folks who will see this headline and comment about it on Facebook will scoff at that idea, so let’s examine it a little further.
Cleveland is sitting just 1.5 games out of the Wild Card and has just 79 homers, third-fewest in baseball. The White Sox have 85 homers, less than half of the Yankees’ MLB-leading 172 dongs. And while I am not suggesting a Wisdom acquisition as an alternative to a blockbuster Juan Soto pickup, the Cubs slugger would certainly help them boost the 86 dingers that see them sitting last in their division. Hell, San Diego could easily add both players, especially if their deal with the Cubs included an Eric Hosmer salary dump or something like that.
“I guess it’s that part of the year, of baseball closing in on the deadline,” Wisdom told Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports Chicago. “There’s a lot of rumors, a lot of hearsay, probably true rumors in some aspect. But I just take it day to day.”
It would be ironic, don’t you think, if Wisdom was moved at the deadline when the huge trades at the ’21 deadline opened the door to him becoming an overnight sensation.
“Last year was kind of unique from my shoes,” Wisdom said. “I come in with all those guys and a month later they’re all getting traded away. It was just very strange because I knew what they meant to the fans and to this organization. I’m just thankful to be here still and play every day.”
Though the odds of Wisdom being moved aren’t as high as Willson Contreras, Ian Happ, or David Robertson, he doesn’t figure to be part of Jed Hoyer’s Next Great Cubs Team. Being cheap and having top-tier punch don’t outweigh the fact that he’s on the wrong side of 30 and will soon be pushed by any number of highly-rated prospects coming up through the system. This feels like a situation where the Cubs will move him in a heartbeat if they can get a team to give them a solid offer.
For Wisdom’s sake, I just hope that team has a third base coach willing to get up for a high five like Willie Harris.