Are the Chicago Cubs looking to upgrade behind the dish?
When the Chicago Cubs entered the 2015 campaign with three catchers on the 25-man roster, we all knew that it was only a matter of time until Welington Castillo would be traded away.
Once camp broke, Joe Maddon carried Miguel Montero, David Ross and Castillo who would end up being moved to the Seattle Mariners, then the Arizona Diamondbacks shortly after. It was tough seeing Beef Castle representing another uniform other than that Cubbie Blue, but that’s the harsh reality of this business.
Despite struggling throughout the postseason, Montero was a solid addition to this Cubs team that finished with the third-best record in all of baseball behind the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates.
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At first, the Cubs contacted the Diamondbacks about Montero, trying to get an idea of what it would take to acquire his services last winter.
The 32-year-old veteran improved several 2014 offensive stats in his first year with the North Siders, coming through with 15 homers and a batting line of .248/.345/.409 in 347 at-bats.
He did, however, miss a little bit of playing time in mid-July after being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left thumb. Montero made a rehab stop with Chicago’s Double-A affiliate down in Tennessee, opening the door for rookie slugger Kyle Schwarber.
Now just a few days ago, CSN Chicago’s own David Kaplan reported that the Cubs were not only interested in both Jason Heyward and John Lackey but were looking to upgrade behind the dish as well. Which comes off as a bit of a surprise.
A few free agent catchers who are still looking for a new team include former Cub Dioner Navarro, Jeff Mathis, Brayan Pena, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia — a former Boston Red Sox.
In 2015, Montero made $12 million and is expected to cash in another $14 million in both 2016-2017 and will be able to test the free agency market for the 2018 campaign.
Next year the Cubs will lose David Ross, who informed everyone that this will be his final year as an active player. So fans should get used to seeing Schwarber behind the plate more than he is in the outfield after Ross calls it a career.