The veteran infielder will add to the Cubs’ depth chart following infielder Nico Hoerner’s left hamstring strain during Tuesday’s 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The team announced they were placing Hoerner on the 10-day injured list and picking up outfielder Rafael Ortega from their AA affiliate.
Strange-Gordon appeared in 33 games with the Seattle Mariners in 2020 and batted career lows of .200/.268/.213.
In February, the 33-year-old briefly signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds but wasn’t able to land an Opening Day roster spot. He will provide both speed and versatility to the Cubs, having played second base, shortstop, and center field in past seasons.
Over his 10-year career in the majors, Strange-Gordon certainly left his mark. Perhaps his most impressive run was from 2014 with the Los Angeles Dodgers through 2015 with the Miami Marlins, where he earned two All-Star appearances, a Golden Glove and a Silver Slugger Award while leading the league in steals both years (64 and 58, respectively), in triples (12) in 2014, and in batting average (.333), hits (205), and steals caught (20) in 2015.
He also had a strong showing in 2017 with the Marlins, leading the league once again in steals (60) and steals caught (16).
With this signing, the Cubs are not only adding a veteran on-field contributor but a proven leader off the field as well.
He is a four-time nominee of the Roberto Clemente Award, the honor bestowed upon the player who best represents the game through their exceptional character, philanthropy, and community involvement.
He is also on the advisory board of The Players Alliance, a group of over 100 current and former Black baseball players whose mission, in their words, is “building equitable systems in order to change the trajectory of diversity throughout baseball.”
As with any minor league deal, Strange-Gordon will have to earn his opportunity with the big league club, but the Cubs may have just gotten themselves a steal.
It doesn’t seem too long ago when Jayson Heyward made his MLB debut and was one of the most exciting players in baseball. Time sure does fly by, that was 11 years ago and now Heyward is an experienced, veteran in the league.
Heyward has had success throughout his MLB career and is currently playing on his third team, the Chicago Cubs.
He won his first and only World Series in 2016 with the Cubs and has become a vocal leader on the team.
At the plate, Heyward showcases a silky smooth and quick swing, and possesses a lot of power. Regardless of his plate fluctuations, Heyward is always lit with the web.
If someone who’s a fan of baseball saw Heyward play for the first time this season, they might think that Heyward has not had much success.
There’s no question that he’s struggled at the plate, hitting .187. But recently, his bat has come alive. So please don’t do too much worrying about Heyward’s offensive performance.
On May 17, Heyward had his best offensive showing of the season, going 2-for-4 at the plate with 3 RBI and a home run.
That’s the performance Cubs fans have wanted to see for a while.
He recently was on a three-game hitting streak and during that stretch had four hits in 12 at-bats.
In April, he came in clutch off the bench, hitting a walk-off single against the New York Mets. Heyward isn’t the everyday starter like he was early in his career, but he does see his fair share on the field.
When Heyward first joined the Cubs in 2016, his numbers dropped noticeably. During that season, he batted .230 and hit only seven home runs.
That’s after hitting a career-high .293 the previous season with the St. Louis Cardinals.
He knew something needed to change at the plate and he did not want to waste anytime.
In a 2017 article from SI.com, former Cubs’ hitting coach John Mallee talked about Heyward’s work ethic after struggling in 2016.
“He may be better than (he ever) was,” Mallee said. “I’m very happy for him. His mind is in the right place. He has done a lot of mental stuff. It’s really special what he has put into this.”
Heyward also talked about the adjustments he made in the article.
“I’m able to be more balanced. I’m able to get more good swings off because I’m at the right spot at the right time,” Heyward said. “I’m not taking my hands behind my head, wrapping. When you wrap, with your first move to get the bat head out, you have to go around.
“As a hitter, you don’t want to do that. You want to stay right down the line. And when you stay down the line, you give yourself more room for error.”
Now keep in mind this was almost four years ago and since then, his numbers at the plate are better than his first season in Chicago.
The New Jersey native started his career with the Atlanta Braves in 2010 and finished his first year batting .277 and hitting 17 home runs.
It wasn’t long for our MLB bro to make a name for himself in the league and he quickly became a fan favorite in Atlanta.
During his time in Atlanta, he made the All-Star team and won multiple Gold Glove awards.
Even though Heyward isn’t having the success he had early on in his career, he still is a valuable asset to the lineup, whether he’s in the field or at the plate.
Look for Heyward to have some clutch at-bats this season. He’s a true professional.
Andre “The Hawk” Dawson AKA “Awesome Dawson” finished his inaugural MLB season by winning the Rookie of the Year Award in 1977.
He followed that up with a solid second season in 1978 where he hit 25 home runs and stole 28 bases.
Dawson was one of the first players to receive a Topps trading card contract in 1979, and he finished that season in the NL top ten in total bases, runs batted in, leading to a career that saw “The Hawk” tally more than 400 homers and 1500 runs batted in, on his way to a Hall of Fame career.
Dawson played the first seven seasons of the 1980s with the expansion Expos and the final three of the decade with the Chicago Cubs, who were in rebuild mode and bottom feeders in the league.
The lone bright spot in Chicago was Dawson, whose prolific bat gave Cubs fans a reason to pile into the confines of Wrigley Field back when they only had day games.
By the end of the decade, he had tallied 290 homers, 895 RBI and .128 OPS+. The decade saw him earn Gold Glove Awards, 6 All-Star Appearances, four Silver Sluggers, and an MVP Award. making Dawson easily one of the most productive hitters and multi-tooled standouts of the 1980s.
Before the start of the 1982 season, Andre Dawson received his check from the Major League Baseball Players Association for the sum of $2,527.
At the time a nice piece of change for the then 27-year old outfielder. The check had the stamped signature of Marvin Miller, who happened to be the Executive Director of the MLBPA.
With Dawson’s signature on the reverse side, Dawson took his check to the bank and requested $1,300.00 in cash and a cashier’s check for the remaining balance.
“The Hawk” used this method of money management for the rest of his MLB career.
That 1982 season for Dawson was one to remember as he was an All-Star, and Gold Glove winner. In his 11 seasons in Montreal, Dawson totaled 225 homers and 838 RBIs for the Expos. His peak years were 1980-83.
In those four seasons, he amassed a (29 WAR – Wins Above Replacement). His OPS+ was an astounding 140, putting him on the fast track to Cooperstown.
“The Hawk” had a long productive career. He hit 20 or more homers in 13 seasons and 30 or more in three seasons.
His career-high of 49 came in 1987, his MVP year. As his 21-year career came to a close, Dawson climbed the all-time lists as an unforgettable Black Knight of baseball.
Seven seasons after what was thought to be his peak performance, an old Dawson with football knees, was still at it. On June 25, 1994, as the Red Sox DH, he went out and had a career day amassing 10 total bases. He went (4-7) with two homers, two doubles and 6 RBI.
The second moonshot gave him 426 in his career, tying him with the sweet-swinging Hall of Famer and legendary MLBbro, Billy Williams.
He hit his 400th homer in April of 1993.
Known for his poise and quiet class, Dawson was beloved by teammates in Montreal, Chicago, Boston and Florida.
In retirement “The Hawk” has been a well-respected longtime funeral director in Florida.
MLB has also named its annual HBCU baseball showcase the “Andre Dawson Classic” after the soul patroller who played for Florida A&M University. Formerly known as the “Urban Invitational”, this annual collegiate baseball tournament was launched in 2008 by MLB to highlight Historically Black Colleges and Universities and their programs.
Chicago Cubs studio host Cole Wright is living the dream of any sports broadcaster; getting paid to talk about the team he grew up loving.
This week, MLBbro.com’s David Grubb talks to Cole about how loving the game of baseball is a family trait, the rising young stars and the proven performers in the game, and how Jackie Robinson’s legacy lives on.