The Cubs announced Sunday that they have claimed 29-year-old first baseman Frank Schwindel off waivers from the A’s and have assigned him to Triple-A Iowa. Schwindel was originally drafted by the Royals in the 18th round of the 2013 draft out of St. John’s and debuted with KC in 2019. He signed with Oakland as a free agent prior to this season and appeared in eight games for them.
The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Schwindel has compiled a .287 average with 213 doubles, 134 home runs, and 540 RBI in 833 career minor league games. Those marks include a .300 average and an .868 OPS in 325 games across parts of four seasons at the Triple-A level. The righty batter did well at Triple-A Las Vegas this season, putting up a .317 average with a .362 OBP and a .620 slugging percentage with 11 doubles, 16 home runs, and 41 RBI.
Scwhwindel has only 35 total MLB plate appearances, over which he’s hit .114 with a homer, but his numbers in the minors indicate he’s a pretty good hitter. He’s not a very patient one, however, with just 142 walks over eight seasons. That’s balanced by a contact-based approach that has seen him strike out at around a 16% clip, so maybe the Cubs see something they can use.
This definitely feels like a move for organizational depth more than anything else, particularly after adding Bryce Ball in the Joc Pederson trade. But wait, why would the Cubs need more first basemen?