Alcantara was designated for assignment by the Cubs last week to open up a roster spot for reliever Mychal Givens. His reputation is that of a glove-first infielder who can provide value with defense and speed, even if his bat doesn’t produce much. Last year, in 89 games for the Cubs, he hit .205/.303/.327 for a wRC+ of 71. But on the defensive side of things, he generally rated well, with Statcast ranking his work as being worth 9 Outs Above Average in that sample of just over half a season, spending time at shortstop, second base and third base.
It was recently reported that Nick Ahmed is still dealing with some shoulder soreness that has been bothering him for almost two years now. The acquisition of Alcantara boosts the team’s shortstop depth, with the new team member acting as a safety net in the event Ahmed requires some time on the IL or even just occasional rest days.
As for VanMeter, he originally came over to Arizona as part of the Archie Bradley deal before the 2020 trade deadline. Over the past three seasons, he’s gotten into 233 games between the Reds and the Diamondbacks. In that time, he’s hit just .212/.300/.364, for a wRC+ of 75. Despite that tepid batting line, he may still draw interest from other clubs for a couple of reasons. First of all, his Triple-A numbers are much better, as he’s hit .298/.379/.576 at that level. He’s also only 27 years old and has the positional versatility that teams love these days, having seen big league action at first, second and third base, as well as the outfield corners. He’s likely to hit the waiver wire in the coming days, with any team looking for a versatile bench piece potentially putting a claim in. But VanMeter is out of options, meaning he would have to stick on the roster of the acquiring team or else be put on waivers yet again.