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Report: Former Marlins First Baseman Designated for Assignment

The Chicago Cubs are designating Garrett Cooper for assignment, according to Robert Murray of The former All-Star signed a non-roster minor league deal with the Cubs to get into camp.  He only appeared in 10 games but hit a pair of home runs and a double over 30 trips to the plate. Cooper, 33, has a .231/.333/.500 batting line in exhibition play. Cooper made Chicago’s Opening Day roster and offered a veteran bat to play first base and DH duties. He was slashing a solid .270/.341/.432 this season, echoing his career betting line.

He will be the corresponding move for Matt Mervis, as Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register reports that Mervis is being called up. The Cubs have seven days to either trade, waive or release Cooper, who couldn’t be optioned to Triple-A.

Garrett Cooper Designated for Assignment

Cooper, a sixth-round pick in the 2013 draft, made his major league debut with the New York Yankees in 2017. He spent most of his career with the Marlins. He was an effective hitter when healthy, hitting .269/.338/.436 for the club. Cooper’s production fell off last season with a .256/.296/.426 line in 82 games. Following a trade to the San Diego Padres, Cooper’s time out west wasn’t any better. He hit a dismal .239/.323/.402 line as he hit the open market coming off the worst offensive season of his career.

Cooper is a .268 hitter with 56 home runs and 22 RBI in 481 career games. He was a National League All-Star in 2022. It won’t be a surprise if another team claims Cooper from the Cubs, who brings plenty of versatility to the table. The Boston Red Sox were linked to Cooper during the winter and they may draw interest in him again.

Matt Mervis Promotion

The Cubs will call up their hot-hitting young first baseman. Mervis, 26, made his big league debut last season, struggling with a .167/.242/.289 batting line with three home runs in 99 plate appearances. This season, in Triple-A Iowa, he’s hitting .288/.402/.606 with five home runs and six doubles. Mervis had made plenty of loud contact as more than 60 percent of his batted balls cleared the 95 mph threshold. It’s undecided on how the Cubs will manage first base responsibilities between Mervis and fellow rookie Michael Busch. Both are left-handed hitters, with Mervis taking the place of the right-handed Cooper.

Chicago also has Mike Tauchman in the outfield who they often platoon against left pitchers.

Main Photo: © Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports


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