After wrapping up his lengthy tenure with the Rockies in less than inspiring fashion last year, Gonzalez hit the open market in search of a bounceback opportunity. He ultimately got one in Cleveland, but wasn’t able to take advantage.
Long a star slugger, the 33-year-old just didn’t hit with the Indians. He delivered a .210/.282/.276 slash in 117 plate appearances before finally receiving the boot from a team that’s desperately in need of outfield production.
The situation isn’t quite the same in Chicago, which helps explain the potential match here. With loads of uncertainty surrounding Ben Zobrist, there’s a roster spot to play with. The Cubs could add Gonzalez as another piece of a mix-and-match outfield group, perhaps swapping him in for the just-added Jim Adduci.
Gonzalez has a history of laying waste to right-handed pitching. He has slashed .298/.364/.535 for his career. Even after being adjusted for park effects, that’s good for a 126 wRC+. If he’s to make a comeback and reestablish himself at the game’s highest level, it’s likely going to be jump-started by finding his groove against righties. He’ll also have to stop hammering the ball into the ground, which he did at a 58.3% rate with the Indians.