Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Milwaukee Brewers have signed Cory Spangenberg to a one-year deal, pending a physical.
#Brewers in agreement with free-agent infielder Cory Spangenberg on one-year deal, pending physical, sources tell The Athletic. Spangenberg will earn $1.2M if in majors, $250K if in minors.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 21, 2018
The all-knowing Ken says the contract is for $1.2 million if he is on the major league roster, $250,000 if he’s in the minors. So, that makes him the 2019 equivalent of Nick Franklin.
The 27-year-old Spangenberg has spent parts of five seasons in the majors for the San Diego Padres. During that span, he has played mostly third base, with second and left field being his predominant filler positions. He is not a defensive savant at any position, but he also doesn’t appear to be a liability at any position.
Spangenberg is not well known for his offensive ability. His best season came in 2015, when he hit .271/.333/.399 with a 105 wRC+ in 345 plate appearances. Since, he hasn’t managed to pass a 100 wRC+.
There is something interesting about last year’s offensive season for Spangenberg. While he had struggles to stack significant wRC+ or WAR, he had the best hard hit rate of his career at 35.6% and the best line drive rate of his career at 27%. That would suggest that Spangenberg was making solid contact and perhaps running into bad luck; however, his .344 BABIP counters that theory. Stack that onto his 32.8 K%, and he was selling out his hit rate to make harder contact, which resulted in a .040 drop in his slugging.
If you ask me to interpret that, it’s one giant shrug emoji. Still, it’s an awfully low-risk signing for Milwaukee. If he performs, it will be for an exceptional value. He could even be controlled for another season via arbitration if he does well enough.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs