More like Ben DeWhozio, amirite?
I’d tell you not to take the headline seriously and not to conflate this signing with any bigger strategic plans the Cubs have, but that ship has probably already sailed. Moves like this make up the bulk of every offseason for every team, it’s just that the Cubs look worse right now because they’re inking small deals instead of making the necessary big moves to improve the roster.
As first reported by Robert Murray of FanSided, the Cubs have signed outfielder Ben DeLuzio to a minor league deal with a spring training invite. This is clearly payback for Willson Contreras signing in St. Louis, as DeLuzio made his MLB debut against the Cubs in 2022 as a member of the Cardinals. Dude even sounds like a Cardinal.
He spent six years in the Diamondback organization, topping out at Triple-A, and was selected by the Cards in the minor league portion of the 2021 Rule 5 Draft. DeLuzio has racked up only 25 plate appearances in the bigs, batting .150 with no home runs and three runs scored.
Across 1,850 minor league plate appearances, however, he’s got a .290 average and .773 OPS to go with strong defense in center. While this may end up being an inconsequential move in the end, the Cubs are clearly prioritizing defense up the middle as a way to improve around the margins following a season in which their gloves failed them too frequently.
Even if the 28-year-old DeLuzio doesn’t play a big role in a strategy that no one seems to be able to discern, he provides a little depth to a center field group that has been thinned by injuries.