Chicago Cubs: Missing out on Rene Rivera hints at team’s backup catcher plans
Are Cubs carrying three catchers again?
Quite often, Maddon carried three catchers on the roster. It started with Maddon’s first Opening Day roster when he had Miguel Montero, David Ross and Welington Castillo. For a significant stretch of 2016, Chicago added Tim Federowicz on the roster. At one point last season, the Cubs had six catchers on the active roster (Willson Conteras, Avila, Rivera, Víctor Caratini, Taylor Davis and Kyle Schwarber).
But even when the Cubs don’t have three primary catchers on the roster, Schwarber’s defensive versatility leaves Maddon with the possibility of using him as a catcher. No, this isn’t a likely scenario. But if the starter gets injured after a backup catcher has been used as a pinch hitter? Maybe.
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Is there another playoff team willing to pay Avila more to be their backup catcher?
Keep an eye on the East
The same tweet has been used to wonder if the Yankees should target Avila? It would give Gary Sanchez some more opportunities to rest while staying in the lineup at DH.
The Nationals are another playoff team that may be considering bringing in Avila to be their backup. Remember. Former Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez now heads up that ball club.
Washington’s situation may turn into one where Avila is initially brought in as the backup, but he could outperform Matt Wieters both defensively and offensively and become the starter.
The Avila could be an upgrade for other potential playoff teams such as the Diamondbacks and Rockies. Their playoff chances involve not only competing against each other but also the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. So the playoffs are far from assured for any National League West team.