Possible Cubs, Miguel Montero trade still hot topic at meetings


The first day of the Winter Meetings have generated a lot of buzz, more rumors, and constant talk about where Jon Lester will land. But the Chicago Cubs started even earlier in the day with their signing of Jason Hammel, and continue to be the talk towards the end of Monday evening with talks of a possible trade for two-time All-Star Miguel Montero.

After losing out on Russell Martin, the Cubs have been very quiet on their intentions at the catcher position. Welington Castillo is the man now, but Kyle Schwarber and Victor Caratini, acquired from Atlanta this summer, both look to be worthy replacement possibilities. But what to do till then? Would Montero be the right choice?

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Montero is looked at as one of the better overall defensive catchers in the game. His ability to handle a pitching staff, as well as a knack for framing pitches makes him a value behind the plate. Offensively, Montero is a career .264 hitter, but has batted only .237 over the past two seasons.

One place that Montero would stand out is leadership. It’s been an emphasis of the organization to help bring in veterans to help lead this young Cubs team, and Montero would fit in perfect there. A nine-year veteran, Montero would be an upgrade over Welington Castillo behind the plate in that aspect.

But Montero is owed $40 million over the next three years, and Castillo himself is a career .256 hitter. With his improvement behind the plate, and familiarity with the pitching staff, is Montero truly an upgrade?

The asking price is thought to be a group of low-level prospects, with the Cubs picking up most of Montero’s owed contract. If that’s the case, I see a Montero trade as a fair deal. The payroll addition isn’t ideal, but the Cubs would add an established veteran and two-time All-Star that would likely assume the bulk of the catching duties.

But anything more than a group of A-level prospects would be too much in addition to his cost. The Cubs need to tread carefully on this first night of the meetings. As much as we want to see moves, they need to be the right ones.