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Report: Cubs sign Dom Smith, David Peralta to minor-league deals

Jess Rapfogel / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Chicago Cubs added a pair of hitters via free agency Monday.

Chicago agreed to minor-league contracts with veteran outfielder David Peralta and first baseman Dom Smith, reports Robert Murray of Fansided.

The 36-year-old Peralta underwent offseason surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his elbow. Once his recovery is complete, he'll be added to the major-league roster, according to Murray.

Peralta spent last season as the Los Angeles Dodgers' primary left fielder. He hit .259/.294/.381 with seven home runs and 55 RBIs across 422 plate appearances but countered the weak bat with excellent outfield defense. The one-time Gold Glove winner tallied seven defensive runs saved in left field and eight DRS overall, which includes his 12 innings in right field.

Peralta can help the Cubs as both a defensive specialist and platoon outfielder against right-handed pitching, an area where the team had been seeking improvements. He's made a career of mashing righties, sporting a lifetime .817 OPS with 100 homers against right-handers compared to .663 with 17 homers versus southpaws.

Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki are holding down the corner outfield spots at Wrigley Field, while Mike Tauchman is currently projected to start in center. Cubs owner Tom Ricketts acknowledged Monday that the team has spoken to free agent Cody Bellinger, their star center fielder last season, although no deal with the former MVP is close. Peralta has primarily played left field during his career, making only 23 appearances in center and none since 2016.

Smith is also recovering from offseason surgery. He had a procedure on his hamate bone in January and is expected to be up to full speed by the end of spring training, according to Murray.

Smith will earn a base salary of $1.75 million if he's in the majors, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. He can max out the contract through incentives at $3.5 million, per Murray.

The 28-year-old hit .254/.326/.366 with 12 homers and 46 RBIs in 153 games for the Washington Nationals last season. Smith owns a lifetime .248/.313/.407 slash line across parts of seven big-league campaigns with the Nationals and New York Mets. His best year came during the shortened 2020 campaign when he finished 13th in NL MVP voting.

Smith will provide depth at first base and DH behind Michael Busch and Patrick Wisdom. Chicago also has first-base prospect Matt Mervis on the 40-man roster

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