The Cubs announced they’ve claimed first baseman Frank Schwindel off waivers from the Athletics and optioned him to Triple-A Iowa. Oakland designated Schwindel for assignment earlier this week. The Cubs had a vacancy on the 40-man roster, so no additional move was necessary.
Oakland signed Schwindel to a minor league deal over the winter and selected him to the big league roster late last month. He only tallied twenty plate appearances with the A’s before they removed him from the 40-man when Mitch Moreland returned from the injured list.
Schwindel hasn’t yet had much of a look at the MLB level, but the 29-year-old has had a fantastic Triple-A season. Through 207 plate appearances with the A’s top affiliate in Las Vegas, Schwindel has hit .317/.362/.630 with sixteen home runs. Those numbers are no doubt aided by Vegas’ extremely hitter-friendly environment, but it’s eye-opening production nonetheless.
At the moment, the Cubs have first base spoken for in franchise icon Anthony Rizzo. An impending free agent, Rizzo has obviously come up in trade speculation with the Cubs looking likely to sell off from the big league roster over the coming weeks. Claiming Schwindel doesn’t make a Rizzo trade any more likely; Schwindel still has all three minor league option years remaining and is probably being brought on as a right-handed hitting bench bat. If the Cubs do wind up dealing Rizzo, though, that could afford Schwindel a greater path to playing time than he had in Oakland, where Matt Olson had first base locked down.
Kiley McDaniel of ESPN reported the news shortly before the official announcement.