The Cubs have agreed to a minor-league pact with utilityman Hernan Perez, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter links). It’s said to include a non-roster invitation to participate in big league camp. Perez would earn $1MM in the majors and could double that via incentives.
Perez, 28, is at his best a notable stolen-base threat who delivers quality glovework all over the field. But his bat has never kept pace and has increasingly drooped into unplayable territory.
Back in 2016, Perez swiped 34 bags and delivered 13 long balls with a .272/.302/.428 slash line in 430 trips to the plate for the Brewers. But that has proven to be a high-water mark. Last year, he managed only a .228/.252/.379 batting line in 246 plate appearances.
While it’s easy to envision the Cubs finding a role for Perez, particularly with an extra roster spot and a few recent infield stalwarts departing the team earlier in the winter, the organization will want to see him earn a job in camp. Beyond the need to make strides with the bat, he’ll need to show he can reverse a worrying drop in sprint speed. After hovering in the 80th percentile range, Perez fell to the 55.9th percentile in 2019.