With parts of the team already set in place and Theo Epstein waiting for his prospects to blossom, the Chicago Cubs will be spending only a small amount of their resources on free agents. With some of those resources, I would like to see a veteran signing to help the outfield or serve as a utility player. A perfect fit for this position is former Cub Sam Fuld.
A Stanford grad, Fuld became the Cardinal’s number two leader in hits (353) and currently holds the College World Series record for career hits.
He was not tendered by the Rays a few weeks ago. Japanese and Major League teams have expressed interest in signing the outfielder, who can play all three outfield positions. Fuld is considering offers from five different ballclubs who have offered the outfielder a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training.
Fuld has proven that he can play and would provide help to the Cubs’ outfield. We do not know whether Junior Lake can have the season he had in 2013. With the loss of David DeJesus, Chicago currently does not have a capable defensive presence to replace the versatile veteran in the outfield.
Fuld could provide defensive help as well as become a good player to have in the locker room. Following the 2010 season, Fuld was traded to Tampa in the Matt Garza deal along with Hak Ju Lee and Chris Archer. Fuld did not have much of a chance with the Cubs, as he was used as a late season call up and only had 40 starts. Fuld would be a reasonable signing for little money.
The newly acquired Marlin outfielder, Justin Ruggiano, will have to prove he can hit consistently as last year in 128 games he hit 18 home runs for the Miami Marlins. Ruggiano and Ryan Sweeney will battle for the final outfield position, along with Spring Training invites which could include Fuld.
Last year Sam hit .199 last year with two home runs but provided stellar defense for the Rays. Fuld can be used off the bench as a pinch runner as his speed has helped him get to where he is today. In late April of last year, he led the American League in steals.
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