The Cubs have added veteran infielder/outfielder Hernan Perez to their 60-man player pool, bringing their total number up to 51. He’ll report to Wrigley Field to work out with the team’s infielders tomorrow, tweets Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic.
Perez, 29, has seen action in parts of eight big league seasons and is likely a familiar name for many Cubs fans after spending the past five seasons as a heavily used utility piece for the division-rival Brewers. The versatile Perez suited up for 572 games with Milwaukee, hitting .258/.288/.400 in just over 1700 plate appearances dating back to the 2015 season.
A poor walk rate has weighed down Perez’s on-base percentage throughout his career, but he’s shown off some modest pop and plenty of speed since establishing himself with the Brewers. That includes a 13-homer, 34-steal season back in 2016 (despite tallying just 430 plate appearances that year). Perez hasn’t approached those stolen-base levels since, but he still checked in with above-average speed in 2019, per Statcast.
On the other side of the ball, Perez has played everywhere on the field with the exception of catcher — including 7 1/3 innings of mop-up work on the mound (where he’s allowed six runs on 10 hits and four walks with three strikeouts). He’s been above-average at both third base and second base in his career, per Defensive Runs Saved, and while he’s not a good defender at shortstop he can at least handle the position should a need arise.
Perez isn’t on the 40-man roster and would need to be added if he’s to emerge as a legitimate Major League option in 2020. But given the expanded rosters early in the season and his ability to effectively play anywhere that manager David Ross asks, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see him log some big league time at Wrigley Field in 2020.