The Cubs announced that they have selected the contracts of left-hander Rex Brothers and infielders Eric Sogard and Matt Duffy. Infielder Ildemaro Vargas has been designated for assignment to open up roster space.
Brothers is back with the Cubs after signing a new minor league deal with the team in February, while Sogard and Duffy joined the organization on minors contracts of their own this past winter. It was expected that Sogard would make the team after yesterday’s news that Nico Hoerner had been optioned to Triple-A, clearing the way for a Sogard/David Bote second base platoon. Duffy is back in the majors for the first time since the 2019 season, as he didn’t reach the Show with either the Rangers or Yankees after signing minor league deals with the two squads last year.
The roster shuffling leaves Vargas as the odd man out. Vargas came to Chicago on a waiver claim from the Twins last September, capping off a nomadic season that saw the 29-year-old appear in games with the Cubs, Twins, and Diamondbacks. The big majority of Vargas’ MLB playing time came in Arizona, where he hit .257/.287/.387 over 265 plate appearances with the D’Backs from 2017-20, with 211 of those PA coming in 2019 when Vargas saw a lot of work at second base.
Vargas has played a handful of games as a first baseman, shortstop, and corner outfielder to go along with his much more extensive time as a second baseman and third baseman. This multi-positional usage makes him an asset for the Cubs at Triple-A should he clear waivers, or possibly make him attractive to another team who wants to make a claim.