May 26: The Cubs announced to reporters, including Meghan Montemurro of the Chicago Tribune, that Vargas has elected free agency.
May 25: Cubs infielder Ildemaro Vargas has cleared waivers and been sent outright to Triple-A Iowa, the team informed reporters (including Meghan Montemurro of the Chicago Tribune). Chicago had designated the utilityman for assignment over the weekend.
Vargas signed a minor league deal with the Cubs over the winter. He opened the season in Iowa, hitting .279/.321/.413 through 25 games. Vargas didn’t walk much or hit for a ton of extra-base power, but he only punched out in 10.7% of his plate appearances. That earned him a big league call a couple weeks ago after Nick Madrigal was placed on the injured list. That marked Vargas’ sixth straight season logging some MLB time, although it proved another fairly short stint.
The switch-hitting infielder tallied 211 plate appearances with the Diamondbacks in 2019, but he’s otherwise tallied fewer than 100 trips to the dish in every season. He hit 26 times during his recent ten-game stint with the Cubs, drawing three walks against two strikeouts but collecting just one hit.
Vargas has been outrighted before in his career, so he has the right to refuse the assignment to Iowa in favor of minor league free agency. Should he choose to remain in the organization, he’d try to play his way back onto a big league roster that has welcomed back Andrelton Simmons and Nico Hoerner from the injured list within the past two weeks.