3:47PM: Left-hander Brad Wieck was optioned to Triple-A in a corresponding move for Abbott’s call-up, the Cubs announced.
3:14PM: The Cubs announced a trio of roster moves, including Jason Heyward’s activation from the 10-day injured list. (The Athletic’s Meghan Montemurro was among those to report the news.) Chicago also designated outfielder Nick Martini for assignment, thus opening up a 40-man roster spot for right-hander Dakota Chalmers, who was claimed off waivers from the Twins. Right-hander Cory Abbott is also being called up from Triple-A to make his big league debut, FanSided’s Robert Murray reports (via Twitter)
A left hamstring strain forced Heyward to the IL on May 20, and the injury hiatus could allow the veteran outfielder something of a reset of his season. Heyward has hit just .183/.254/.341 over his first 138 plate appearances, an unfortunate slow start after the strong numbers he posted during the 2020 season. Through Heyward’s tenure in Wrigleyville (he’s in the sixth year of an eight-year, $184MM contract) has been marked by a lack of offensive production, Heyward was one of the team’s best bats in 2020, hitting .265/.392/.456 with six homers over 181 PA.
Martini was signed to a minor league deal in February, and saw his contract selected by the Cubs in May. The 30-year-old Illinois native has appeared in 12 games this season, mostly working as a pinch-hitter but he was only 1-for-12 in 15 total plate appearances. Martini has hit .261/.363/.366 over 303 total PA with the A’s, Padres, and Cubs at the MLB level, though much of that production came with Oakland during his 2018 rookie season. Martini has experience at all three outfield positions as well as first base, so this versatility and his knack for setting on base could potentially entice another team to claim him off the waiver wire.
Speaking of waiver claims, Chalmers joins the Cubs after being DFA’ed by Minnesota earlier this week. Chalmers made his debut at the Double-A level this season but the results haven’t been good, with a 9.49 ERA over 12 1/3 innings. Between Tommy John surgery and the canceled 2020 minor league season, Chalmers tossed only 39 2/3 total frames from the start of the 2018 season to the start of the 2021 minor league campaign.
Abbott has only a 6.39 ERA in 25 1/3 innings at Triple-A Iowa this season, his first experience of Triple-A ball. The 25-year-old will still get a look in the Show, potentially as a starter or as a reliever. MLB Pipeline ranks Abbott 15th on its list of the Cubs’ top 30 prospects, with his slider and curveball acting as his top pitches. “With an easy delivery that he repeats well and a fearlessness about challenging hitters, Abbott provides consistent strikes,” according to the Pipeline scouting report. Abbott was a second-round pick for the Cubs in the 2017 draft, and he posted some solid numbers in his first three pro seasons before hitting his Triple-A struggles.
It’s nice to have Heyward’s glove back.
Heyward is great in right field. He still has an excellent arm and keeps most teams honest…he continues to show that just awful chronic hitch in his swing…the “Heyward Hitch”….other than that Jason is an excellent outfielder (less several million dollars per year)…
His glove and overall defense are adequate. Nothing close to what he provided earlier with the Cubs. He really looks old and slow this season. Age has caught up with Heyward quickly. Only one more year to go for this contract.
Heyward has two more years after this year.
Thanks for ruining my day bro
You are correct. It was an 8 year deal. Wishful thinking that is was 7. Even more wishful thinking it was 6.
That Heyward contract is making his other RF FA deal look like a HR.. JD Drew.. Epstein knew how to deal and draft a contender, but don’t let him sign FA’s. He would grab a bust most every time.
Pretty much guessing here that Cub fans are ok offsetting that Heyward signing with Theo’s signings of Jon Lester, Ben Zobrist, Jason Hammel, John Lackey and Dexter Fowler.
Heyward is a good baseball player. From everything I have heard over his Cub career he’s a great teammate, good with the tough Chicago media, plays hard, gives a damm and has a strong work ethic. He’s just not worth 180 or so million over 7 years.
And Yu Darvish
Correction: Epstein knew how to put together a winner. Broke the two longest title droughts in history, teams the lowbrows considered jinxed.
Be selective w yr memory, no problem; you just sound bitter, or worse–jealous.
The point was that Theo doesn’t “grab a bust most every time.” Heyward certainly hasn’t lived up to the way Lester did his….but he hasn’t exactly been a bust either.
Dude is just jealous. I always enjoy how haters revise history to make themselves feel better.
I am curious why they would send down a guy that gave 8 innings of no runs for a guy that has a 7.00 ERA in Triple A. Maybe they are looking to see how Abbott will do in a starting spot since Arrieta did not look good in his last outing. Just guessing, because this move does not make sense on the surface.
The bullpen is gassed… So if Kohl Stewart can’t go deep, they can bring Abbott to eat some innings.
Would guess they wanted a starter and Wieck is a short man and has options. Heyward is a bust at the money they paid. 23 million a year over eight years. Not all that far off of Harper money. Sure it’s not an exact comparison however Heyward never had the year after year production to get that kind of money. Is and was a bad contract the minute he was signed.
Abbot’s debut wasn’t too bad…he had just a bit of control issues. Other than that, not bad and he kept the ball down…good job.
Well Nick Martin lived his dream playing for the cubs. He was born and raised where I grew up (7-14) He’s just not a good baseball player.