The front office is exploring options to improve the offense. And it’s believed the Cubs would like to acquire a left-handed hitting outfielder to add to the mix. The Cubs offense has been inconsistent, at best, and has missed the presence and balance Kyle Schwarber provided a year ago.
Josh Reddick is believed to be at the top of the list of outfielders the Cubs are interested in acquiring. Reddick hits from the left side, mashes right-handers, makes contact and can provide good defense in both corner outfield spots.
Reddick returned to the starting lineup Monday and went 1-for-5 with a run scored and a RBI. Reddick downplayed the injury to his back that cost him playing time recently and said it just stiffened up on him.
In 63 games, Reddick has hit .293/.371/.428 with 10 doubles, a triple and six home runs for a .798 OPS. In 251 plate appearances, Reddick has walked 28 times with 33 strikeouts. Against right-handed pitchers this season, Reddick has hit .346/.420/.535 with 10 doubles, a triples and six home runs for a .954 OPS.
David Kaplan reported Monday that he does not think Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are done. Kaplan said he “fully expects a bat to pick up the slack left by Jason Heyward’s poor play.” Kaplan added that he thinks Josh Reddick “is at the top of the Cubs list if they add another bat.”
Another outfielder to keep an eye on is Charlie Blackmon.
Bruce Levine reported last weekend that Charlie Blackmon is one of the outfielders the Cubs are interested in. The Cubs have been linked to Blackmon several times in recent years. The Cubs were reportedly talking to the Rockies about him before acquiring Dexter Fowler from the Astros in January 2015 and then again last off-season.
Blackmon is having a good season for the Rockies and is under club control through the 2018 season (two more years). Blackmon is batting .300/.359/.464 with 17 doubles, two triples and 12 home runs for a .823 OPS. In 42 home games, Blackmon is batting .316/.374/.489 with seven doubles, a triple and seven home runs for a .863 OPS.
Outside of Coors Field, Blackmon’s slash line drops to .283/.344/.439 with 10 doubles, a triple and five home runs for a .783 OPS. Blackmon can play all three outfield spots.
Blackmon is at least the third left-handed hitting outfielder the Cubs are rumored to be interested in. The Cubs were linked to Jay Bruce last week.