On Wednesday, the Chicago Cubs announced that they had acquired outfielder Terrance Gore from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for cash considerations. This deal sounds exactly like what Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer like to do around this time of year: add a speed threat before the waiver trade deadline in an attempt to “steal” a few extra runs and cover more ground on defense late in games.
Last year the team traded for veteran speedster Leonys Martin, who ended up playing in 15 games for the team. His biggest moment in a Cubs uniform was robbing a home run for the final out in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals on September 28. They made a similar move in 2015 when they acquired Quintin Berry, who appeared in eight games and stole a pair of bases. Both Martin and Berry acted mostly as defensive replacements, and each of them did what they were supposed to do by chasing down fly balls and not committing any mistakes.
This was Gore’s exact role during his time in Kansas City, except they often utilized him more on the basepaths than the Cubs have traditionally done. In 49 career major league games (spanning four seasons) Gore has stolen 21 bases, committed zero errors on defense (over 23 total innings in the field), and has gone 0-for-11 at the plate. He has also appeared in eight postseason games, logging four steals and two runs scored while not recording an at bat.
This move is not exactly a surprise for the Cubs, given their recent history of doing something exactly like this at this point in the season. Gore appears to have his role spelled out for him, and if he does the same thing that he has done in Royal Blue then it will be just what this team needs from him.
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