The Cubs were very busy on the transaction wire Friday, shuffling several players around to keep the roster at an appropriate level. Most notable of those was Marcus Stroman going to the IL with right shoulder inflammation, though Clint Frazier being designated for assignment is part of what continues to be a very frustrating facet of this team.
Wade Miley, Yan Gomes, and Jonathan Villar were all reinstated from the IL and Chris Martin was activated from the restricted list while Alfonso Rivas and Michael Rucker have been optioned to Iowa. None of that is even mildly surprising, so let’s get back to Frazier for just a moment here.
Even though he was not lighting it up by any stretch, the Cubs signed him for a mere $1.5 million this season and he’s still arbitration-eligible for two more years. As such, his potential value to the team as either an additional outfielder or a trade chip is infinitely greater than, say, Jason Heyward. Yet either the team or just David Ross in particular seemed to have zero interest in giving Frazier an opportunity.
The devotion to Heyward in the face of seeing several star players traded and another possibly on his way out the door is baffling. Money shouldn’t be a factor because the contract is already a sunk cost, so keeping Heyward on the roster only serves to block someone like Nelson Velázquez or Greg Deichmann from getting another look. I’m sure the front office has an explanation, just not one I’m willing to accept.
While we’re on the topic, it’s not very helpful to either the player or team to have Nick Madrigal trying to hit his way out of this season-long slump with the big club. He’s got to make some adjustments now that opposing outfields are openly displaying a lack of respect for his power. A lot of the personnel decisions being made right now don’t seem to be aimed at helping the Cubs either now or in the future.