The Cubs have selected the contract of infielder/outfielder Jared Young, per Meghan Montemurro of the Chicago Tribune. Outfielder Rafael Ortega is going on the 60-day IL in a corresponding move after fracturing his finger last night.
Young, 27, was a 15th-round selection of the Cubs in 2017 and has been working his way up the ranks of the minor leagues since then. After the pandemic wiped out the minors entirely in 2020, Young split his time between Double-A and Triple-A in 2021. That year, he hit .290/.361/.471 for a wRC+ of 128, walking in a solid 9.8% of his plate appearances and striking out in just 19.3% of them. This year, he’s taken a bit of a step back, hitting just .228/.310/.413 for the season, but the Cubs will give him a shot in the majors regardless.
Defensively, Young has mostly played first base and third base, though a little bit in the outfield corners as well. That will give the Cubs some flexibility in how they deploy their lineups down the stretch. With just three weeks left on the schedule and the Cubs well out of contention, they can use that time to audition youngsters and just generally give them reps at the game’s highest level.
For Ortega, the transfer is largely procedural at this point. When the news of his fracture came out last night, it was expected to end his season, which is now a certainty.