Hamilton signed a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training with Cleveland on Thursday, Daniel Alvarez Montes of El Extrabase reports. Hamilton earned 36 plate appearances at the big-league level in 2020, but he hit just .125/.171/.219. More positively, even in the limited playing time he managed to steal six bases and continued to provide strong defense. While no sure thing to make the big-league roster, Hamilton lands in a good spot with the relatively thin outfield in Cleveland.
Hamilton went 2-for-4 with a walk, a solo home run, two stolen bases and three runs scored in Sunday's 10-8 win over the White Sox. Hamilton played sparingly during the regular season and finishes the year with just a .125 batting average, but the speedy outfielder had a memorable performance in the season finale. He managed to steal home and hit his first home run since Aug. 29, 2018. Hamilton becomes the first Cubs player to swipe home and go deep in the same game since 1967, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com notes. The 30-year-old might earn a spot on Chicago's postseason roster due to his speed, though he's unlikely to impact a game quite like he did Sunday.
Hamilton entered as a pinch runner for Kyle Schwarber in the eighth and was able to steal second base in the inning. He did not have an official at-bat in the game. Cubs manager David Ross made a tactical substitution by replacing Schwarber at first with the speedy Hamilton. The 30-year-old successfully stole second base and put himself in scoring position for Jason Heyward at the plate, but Heyward unfortunately struck out, stranding Hamilton at second. Hamilton has just two at-bats since joining the Cubs on Sept. 7 as he is being primarily used as a late-game replacement.
Hamilton was claimed off waivers by the Cubs on Monday, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports. Hamilton will join his third team of the season after being designated for assignment by the Mets. The speedy 29-year-old has seen much of his usage in 2020 as a pinch runner, and that could be the case with the Cubs as well. He's hitting .045 with three stolen bases over 17 games this year.
Hamilton was designated for assignment by the Mets on Friday, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports. Hamilton had been losing opportunities for playing time recently, and he'll be cast off the Mets' 40-man roster just one day after making a blunder on the basepaths. In 17 games with the Mets this season, Hamilton carried a 0.83 OBP with four runs and three stolen bases over 22 at-bats.