Cubs give Nady one-year contract to platoon with Fukudome … for now

Leave a comment

Xavier Nady’s one-year deal with the Cubs is worth $3 million plus another $2 million in incentives and sets him up to platoon with Kosuke Fukudome in right field, which is a good fit for a right-handed hitter coming off Tommy John surgery in that he’ll face mostly left-handed pitching and won’t be asked to play every day.
At least not initially.
Nady is a career .308/.383/.471 hitter against lefties, which is good for an .854 OPS that easily tops his .769 mark against righties. Fukudome is the exact opposite in that he’s a left-handed hitter who’s batted .262/.372/.417 versus right-handers compared to just .242/.343/.324 versus southpaws.
Assuming that Nady and his surgically repaired elbow pass the pre-signing physical exam they’ll make for a prototypical and very productive platoon, although given Fukudome’s propensity to fall into prolonged slumps there’s a good chance Nady will also claim plenty of his starts against righties at some point.

Rangers don’t plan to make qualifying offer to Adrián Beltré

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
2 Comments

Rangers GM Jon Daniels said he doesn’t expect the club to make a $17.9 million qualifying offer to free agent third baseman Adrián Beltré, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports. Daniels has been in touch with the 39-year-old, who may retire.

Beltré battled hip and hamstring issues throughout the past season, limiting him to 119 games. He hit .273/.328/.434 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI in 481 plate appearances. Going by adjusted OPS, his mark of 98 — 100 is average — was his lowest in a season since 2009 with the Mariners. Beltré’s career average is 116 and he put up a 132 in 2017 and 128 in ’16.

Beltré appears to have some stuff left in the tank. He may not be an All-Star-caliber player anymore, but he can still hit at an average level and he is still an above-average defender. It’s just a matter of his body holding up to allow him to do what he needs to do. If Beltré does decide to re-up with the Rangers for 2019, the club will be prepared to move Isiah Kiner-Falefa or Jurickson Profar over to the hot corner as they did in 2018 in the event Beltré gets bitten by the injury bug.