The Cubs are closing in on a deal with free agent outfielder Steven Souza Jr., per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). If completed, it’ll be the Chicago organization’s first MLB contract of the offseason.
This news helps explain the Cubs’ decision to open a 40-man spot today. Adding Souza will not really change the pitch of the austerity-themed offseason, but it does represent a notable commitment that could potentially have an intriguing butterfly effect.
Souza, who’s looking to bounce back following a 2019 season lost to injury, has played almost exclusively in right field during his five seasons in the majors. That has been the primary domain of high-proced Cubs veteran Jason Heyward, who could also appear in center.
There’s now a bit of a crowd in the outfield picture. Kyle Schwarber has spent most of his time in left and figures to do so again. Ian Happ has been seen as an option up the middle but could be utilized in a variety of manners (including in the infield).