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Cubs outfielder Carlos Gonzalez cleared waivers and elected free agency after being designated for assignment last week, manager Joe Maddon told reporters today (Twitter link via Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune).
Gonzalez, 33, joined the Cubs on his second minor league deal of the season in late May and was selected to the Major League roster just days later. Unfortuately, CarGo’s time in Chicago didn’t go much better than his brief stint in Cleveland. After hitting .210/.282/.276 through 117 plate appearances with the Indians, Gonzalez batted only .175/.306/.300 in 49 plate appearances with the Cubs. He’s punched out in 31.3 percent of his plate appearances between the two teams.
While there’s plenty of name value attached to Gonzalez, a three-time All-Star and former MVP candidate, it’s been a few years since he delivered particularly strong offense. Dating back to 2017, Gonzalez has batted .260/.328/.423 (86 OPS+) and seen his power diminish. He did enjoy a strong all-around year in 2016 and crack 40 homers in 2015, but the combined .285/.337/.522 line he put together in those two seasons is well in the rear-view mirror at this point. While another club could very well look to roll the dice on a player with such a strong track record, it seems likely that he’ll have to settle for a third minor league deal.