For months, Cubs rumors have connected the team to potential catchers. Another prominent option could be in play following this weekend’s news.
Don’t be shocked if Cubs rumors begin to swirl in the coming days. The team lost their hot-hitting backup catcher this month and have been riding Willson Contreras in a big way since.
One thing seems certain right now, Contreras cannot play nearly every day when the stretches of few-to-no off days come. He has been doing all of the catching outside of Saturday night’s game since Victor Caratini broke a bone in his hand. The Cubs called up Taylor Davis, and he has made one start and caught a total of 11 innings in his time up so far.
So when/will the Cubs go to get that veteran catcher? This question seems more important now than it was in the offseason. Davis looked pretty good behind the dish Saturday catching Yu Darvish, and if he continues to at least catch well he may earn himself some more playing time. Still, he may not be a long term solution if Caratini is out long-term.
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Sunday the New York Mets announced they designated catcher Travis d’Arnaud for assignment. The former heralded backstop who was struggling this season going 2-for-23 at the plate. d’Arnaud only played in four games in 2018 after having Tommy John surgery, but his resume is pretty solid. Could he draw interest from the Cubs?
Why or why not?
d’Arnaud has been in the majors since 2013 and had some solid seasons before getting hurt last year. From 2014 to 2017 he hit .249/.308/.418 with 45 home runs, 154 RBI, catching 325 games. He was a 3.5 fWAR player in 2015 and has had three seasons of an fWAR 1.6 or higher. Cannot forget to mention that he has caught the likes of Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey when he was an All-Star-caliber pitcher.
What could cause some concern with potentially grabbing him? The injury last year is a big one, considering he has struggled mightily so far in 10 games this year with the Mets. His defense is not exactly Gold Glove-caliber either. Sadly the injuries have stunted his growth the past few years as he was on the path to being a notable backstop around baseball. However, these negatives could make an argument for a change of scenery.
If the Cubs were to hypothetically get d’Arnaud, he would be used as a backup and not a starter. Thinking he would take away time from Contreras is laughable. This can allow him to fill a need every few days and not worry too much about him holding up over an MLB season. There really is not much risk in going after a guy like him, if he does not work out then nothing is really lost.
Keep an eye on d’Arnaud. There’s no telling if a Cubs rumor surfaces this week with him potentially available. Regardless of if it is the Cubs or not, he will likely generate some attention around baseball. He has a good enough resume for a team to take a fly on him.