The Cubs are in agreement with veteran infielder Dee Strange-Gordon on a minor league contract, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter link). The Rep 1 Baseball client will head to Triple-A Iowa and give the Cubs some additional depth in the infield following last night’s hamstring strain for Nico Hoerner — an injury that could very well send Hoerner back to the injured list.
NBC Sports Chicago’s Gordon Wittenmyer tweets that Hoerner underwent an MRI this morning. Meanwhile, Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register reports that outfield Rafael Ortega is leaving the Cubs’ Iowa affiliate to either join the taxi squad or the big league club, which could serve as further evidence that an IL trip for Hoerner is on the horizon.
Strange-Gordon appeared in 33 games with the Mariners in 2020 but tallied only 82 plate appearances with a dismal .200/.268/.213 batting line. The 33-year-old was a two-time All-Star with the Marlins from 2014-15, when he was among baseball’s most prolific threats on the basepaths, but his base-stealing and overall offensive prowess have taken considerable steps back in the years since.
The Mariners acquired Strange-Gordon from the Marlins with the idea of putting him in center field, but despite his excellent speed Strange-Gordon never seemed to take to the position switch. Seattle moved him back to second base in 2019 after he posted poor defensive numbers in center field during the 2018 campaign.
Strange-Gordon batted .308/.341/.375 with an NL-best 60 steals in 2017, but his three seasons with the Mariners proved forgettable, as he managed only a .266/.293/.343 output. He signed a minor league deal with the Reds over the winter but didn’t land an Opening Day roster spot and was eventually released. He briefly signed with the Brewers organization as well, but Milwaukee went in another direction for its infield needs, acquiring Willy Adames from the Rays. Strange-Gordon was released the next day despite having batted .333/.375/.500 in 10 games and 45 plate appearances with the Brewers’ Triple-A club in Nashville.