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Free Agency Catchup: Souza and Kipnis

As the Chicago Cubs roll into spring training, they made three free agent moves that help flesh out their roster. Now signed are Steven Souza, Jason Kipnis, and Corban Joseph. All of whom are non-established prestige moves, but help suppliment some of the depth this current Cubs roster needs.

Steven Souza:

Signs a one year one million dollar deal. He's bounced around a bit, coming up with Washington, then a few years in Tampa Bay and Arizona. His biggest upside comes from 2017, in Tampa bay, where he crushed 30 home runs and had a solid .351 OBP. This was despite an iffy .239 batting average, he still had an OPS of .810. He's played RF almost exclusively. He figures to be a RHB of the Schwarber mold, power and walks for a corner outfielder.

The key for him is health. He's 31 now, and last played half a season in 2018. First it was pectoral issues early in 2018, then it was a freak injury that tore up his knee for 2019. He "should" be healed up and fine. If so, he's a solid bench piece whom the Diamondbacks were going to have start in RF before he slipped on home plate.

Jason Kipnis:

He's a name Cubs fans are familiar with, play for the Indians in 2016 and a Chicago native. He turns 33 this year, and joins the Cubs on a minor league deal. He's a former all star, for 2013 and 2015. He played second base for Cleveland for his entire career up until now.

His career is two halves. The first lasting from '12-'17, where he would average about 15 home runs, OPS over .800, and be a solid reliable starter. Then '18 to present, he's missed some time, OPS in the low .700 range, and become a below average hitter. His HRs were up, but the batting average and OBP were both way down.

Kipnis figures to be a depth slot for the Cubs at second base. He'll enter into competition with Bote, Descalso, and Hoerner. If he can reclaim what he once was, then it's a solid pickup. If he doesn't. It is low cost. Kipnis is a roll of the dice.

Corban Joseph:

Comes to the Cubs as a 31 year old journeyman on a minor league deal. He has all of 88 big league at bats, and a .474 OPS. He is a second baseman, and likely another slot on the depth chart.

The upside is pretty simple, he has been good in the minor leagues. In 6 seasons at AAA, he's hit .294, OBP'd .362, and slugged .457. His other minor league numbers are similar. The initial glance might seem like he's a AAAA player, but since the Cubs have an opening at second, he becomes a potential depth option. We'll see!


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