The Chicago Cubs are getting closer to finalizing their Opening Day roster, highlighted by a slew of transactions today. Per Tony Andracki of Marquee Sports Network, the club signed veteran outfielder Cameron Maybin to a minor-league deal, designated Ildemaro Vargas for assignment, and selected the contracts of Matt Duffy, Eric Sogard, and Rex Brothers.
Cameron Maybin to the Minors
Maybin will report to the Cubs alternate site to start the 2021 season as Jake Marisnick presumably assumes the fourth outfielder role. This move gives the Cubs two versatile right-handed-hitting outfielders to use either off the bench or in a platoon situation.
The Cubs starting outfield will consist of Joc Pederson in left, Ian Happ in center, and Jason Heyward in right. Both Heyward and Pederson have historically struggled at the plate against lefty hurlers, but they will get the chance to rectify those issues as the season commences. Marisnick will be the platoon option based on matchups to begin the year, but with the Cubs keeping Maybin around, he will also likely get a shot at some point in 2021.
Matt Duffy, Eric Sogard, and Rex Brothers Make The Cut
Sogard making the big league club comes as no surprise. He will likely serve in a platoon role along with David Bote at second base. Sogard can also provide utility in the infield as well.
Matt Duffy cracking the Opening Day roster is a bit of a shock, but he can provide further infield depth as well. Kris Bryant will likely see time in the outfield, so having another infielder in tow will be beneficial for the Cubs.
Rounding out the bullpen, Rex Brothers provides David Ross another lefty option. After pitching just three innings for Cubs in 2020, Brothers has made his presence known throughout Spring Training, ultimately culminating in taking over as the second left-handed option out of the bullpen behind Andrew Chafin.