BY russell dorsey, Staff Reporter
The Cubs gave themselves some much-needed outfield depth Tuesday, claiming Phillip Ervin off waivers from the Mariners. They have just two other outfielders, Ian Happ and Jason Heyward, on their 40-man roster, which now stands at 37 players.
After playing in a career-high 91 games with the Reds in 2019, his best season in the majors, Ervin, 28, struggled mightily at the plate in 2020. He had a .149/.292/.189 slash line with no homers in 37 games between the Reds and Mariners.
His career numbers tell a slightly better story. He’s .277/.352/.459 over four seasons, with seven of his 17 career home runs coming off left-handers. That ability to provide offense against southpaws could figure him into the Cubs’ plans as a fourth outfielder, especially since they have few options currently.
Like most other teams around baseball, the Cubs have been pretty quiet, with no significant movement on the trade front or free-agent market. They’ll likely add more players to the outfield mix before spring training.
“We’re aware of our [outfield] numbers,” team president Jed Hoyer said during the virtual Winter Meetings. “I think that’s something we’ve certainly prioritized and had some discussions about. We’re certainly going to be looking at outfielders as we round out the roster.”