The Chicago Cubs signed free agent first baseman Trey Mancini a few days after announcing the signing of free agent first baseman Eric Hosmer.
Trey Mancini, a former Notre Dame baseball star, has signed a two-year contract with the Chicago Cubs.
Mancini won the World Series with the Houston Astros last season after being acquired from Baltimore in a three-team trade that included the Tampa Bay Rays in August.
The #Cubs today agreed to terms with 1B/OF/DH Trey Mancini on a two-year major league contract.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) January 20, 2023
Mancini joins the Chicago Cubs after the Houston Astros declined a $10 million option on Mancini contract in favor of a $250,000 buyout, making him a free agent.
To make room for Mancini on the 40-man, the Chicago Cubs have DFA’d LHP Anthony Kay.
— Houston Astros (@astros) August 1, 2022
Trey Mancini’s contract includes some perks. If Mancini has more than 350 plate appearances with the Cubs in 2023, he will have an opt out clause at the end of the season.
The deal is a win for both sides as the Cubs address their need for power with Mancini and the World Series champion also has the opportunity to opt-out and make more money next offseason if he finds success with the team this season.
Mancini is now the latest free-agent addition for the Chicago Cubs this winter after they went 74-88 last year for their second consecutive losing season. The Chicago Cubs also added Gold Glove shortstop Dansby Swanson, right-hander starter Jameson Taillon, outfielder Cody Bellinger, reliever Brad Boxberger, catcher Tucker Barnhart and 1st basemen Eric Hosmer.
Who is Trey Mancini
Trey Mancini, 30-year-old born March 18, 1992 is a first baseman Nicknamed as “Boomer” or “Boom Boom”.
Mancini attended Winter Haven High School in Winter Have, Florida where he batted .480 with six home runs as a senior. After high school, he attended the University of Notre Dame, where he played college baseball for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and pursued a degree in political science.
He played collegiate summer baseball for the Holyoke Blue Sox of the New England Collegiate Baseball League in 2011, and the Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod Baseball League in 2012.
In 2013, during his junior year at Notre Dame, Mancini slashed .389/.431/.603 with seven home runs and 54 RBIs in 57 games.
The Baltimore Orioles selected Mancini in the eighth round of the 2013 MLB draft.
Mancini made his debut just three years later, in a game where he hit a home run in his second at-bat. Mancini would have become only the third player in MLB history to hit a home run in each of his first three professional starts.
In March of 2020, he left spring training due to a non-baseball medical problem, only to be informed less than a month later that he had stage 3 colon cancer and would miss the entire season.
Mancini would receive the cancer-free diagnosis eight months later.
Mancini would have returned to the Orioles the following season and been named the American League Comeback Player of the Year.
About cancer diagnosis, Mancini mentioned in the press conference:
“I haven’t changed a lot as a player, I’d say. I still have the same intensity. Still really want to do well and contribute and be a huge impact on the team. But it does make you realize what a real problem is and what a baseball problem is.”
What can the Chicago Cubs expect from Mancini
Mancini struggled at the plate with the Houston Astros batting just .176 with eight homers, 22 RBIs and a .622 OPS, finishing the season batting .239 with 18 home runs, 63 RBIs, and a .710 OPS overall with the Orioles and Astros.
In the Houston Astros postseason campaign that saw them winning the World Series, Mancini finished 1 for 21 with only one RBI and eight strikeouts in what was his first ever postseason appearance. His only hit was a single in the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
In his career Mancini is batting .265 with 125 home runs, 372 RBI, and a .787 OPS since 2016.
Mancini, who turns 31 in March, is a right-handed hitter with power who could be the Chicago Cubs’ primary designated hitter. He bats first and plays corner outfield for the Chicago Cubs, adding depth to the team.
Mancini gives the Cubs three options at first base: himself, Eric Hosmer, and prospect Matt Mervis. Patrick Wisdom can also play first and get at-bats as a designated hitter, but he can also stick at third with Mancini aboard.
During the announcement press conference, Mancini mentioned that he told Cubs general manager David Ross that he was willing to play any position.
For Mancini, the playing part was the key message.
“I told him: ‘I don’t care where I play at all. I like playing. Wherever you want me, I’m there,'” Mancini said Monday.
Mancini In Action In The 2023 World Baseball Classic
In 2017, Mancini finished third in the AL Rookie of the Year balloting with the Baltimore Orioles, then batted .291 with 35 homers, 97 RBIs and a .899 OPS in the 2019 season, just before getting diagnosed with colon cancer the following season.
The Chicago Cubs fan can see Trey Mancini in action soon, as the 1st baseman will compete for the Italian national baseball team, during the 2023 World Baseball Classic, as confirmed by the Italian national baseball team coach and MLB legend, Mike Piazza.
Credits on Featured Image: Rachel Getz/Flickr