The Cubs announced their list of non-roster invitees to big league Spring Training today, and among the list of previously reported minor league deals was the signing of infielder Jonathan Herrera.
The 30-year-old Herrera spent last season with the Red Sox — his only career season not spent in a Rockies uniform. In 104 plate appearances with Boston, Herrera batted .233/.307/.289, though he entered the 2014 campaign as a .265/.325/.332 hitter in 1109 plate appearances. While some may assume he posted stronger numbers at Coors Field than on the road, his production at and away from Coors was largely the same; he’s a career .266/.331/.340 hitter in Denver.
Herrera will provide the Cubs with some versatile infield depth, as he’s logged significant Major League innings at each of second base, third base and shortstop. Following the departure of Luis Valbuena in the Dexter Fowler trade, Herrera should provide the Cubs with an option at three infield positions and give competition to Arismendy Alcantara. He also gives Chicago an alternative to Mike Olt if they wish to open the season with top prospect Kris Bryant in the minors for a three weeks or so in order to delay his free agency by a year.