The Cubs announced Friday afternoon that they have claimed infielder Rylan Bannon off waivers after the Braves designated him for assignment last week. The 26-year-old split the 2022 season between the Orioles and Braves organizations, hitting .249 with a .367 OBP, 13 home runs, 18 doubles, one triple, 77 RBI, and 59 between Triple-A Norfolk and Triple-A Gwinnett. He made 68 starts at third base, 23 as a designated hitter, and eight at second base.
A right-handed hitter, Bannon made his MLB debut with Baltimore and played in four games before being designated for assignment and claimed by the Dodgers on August 8. He was immediately designated again and the Braves claimed him on August 16. Bannon was on Atlanta’s roster for one week in late September but only appeared in one game.
The Joliet, IL native attended Joliet Christian Academy and Xavier University before being selected by the Dodgers in the eighth round of the 2017 draft. He was then part of the six-player trade that sent Manny Machado to the Dodgers. Bannon has a .253 average and an .805 OPS with 72 homers, 92 doubles, 11 triples, and 276 RBI over five minor league seasons.
He was named an Eastern League Mid-Season All-Star and MiLB.com Organizational All-Star in 2019 while playing at Double-A Bowie and Norfolk. Prior to that, he was named the California League’s Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2018.
This is a bit of a curious move on the surface because the Cubs don’t need another righty bat, especially not one with limited power. Their 40-man roster now stands at 39 and it’s hard to imagine them doing anything other than trying to sneak Bannon through waivers and hope the chance to play for his “hometown” organization will convince him to stick around. They may do the same with Miles Mastrobuoni, unless the plan is to move on from Zach McKinstry.