The Chicago Cubs today outrighted outfielder Michael Hermosillo to Triple-A Iowa. Hermosillo cleared waivers after being DFA’d earlier in the week, and thus this is the resulting procedural move. You’ll note that Iowa’s season is over.
Hermosillo was not going to last the offseason on the 40-man roster after he missed most of the season with a quad injury, and hit just .115/.250/.148/27 wRC+ over his 73 plate appearances when he was able to play. So whether it was soon or November, Hermosillo was going to hit minor league free agency eventually.
You know the story with Hermosillo: the 27-year-old plays great outfield defense all over, runs the bases well, hits for power, and has crushed it at Triple-A – he was brilliant at Iowa last year. But his small sample chances in the big leagues in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 have all been unsuccessful (career .167/.268/.283/55 wRC+ over 229 PAs). It’s possible that’s because of lack of opportunity, flukes, and injuries, but it’s also possible he’s one of those guys who can crush Triple-A pitching but isn’t quite good enough to make it in the big leagues.
I think that latter explanation is possible, but I also think the skill set is well-rounded enough that he could still emerge as a useful bench player for the right team. I don’t know that that team is going to be the 2023 Chicago Cubs, who might be overloaded with complementary outfield options as it is.
That is to say, when Hermosillo does head into minor league free agency, it’s highly likely he would prefer a deal with a different organization that could offer him a clearer shot at the big leagues (even though he grew up a local Cubs fan, and I’m sure he’d like to say in the organization all else equal).
How it all plays out remains to be seen – technically, he’s still in the Cubs organization for the moment. Whatever happens, I’ll wish him well, though. I just like that guy.