Chicago Cubs: Greatest players of the decade – #40-31

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: No. 36: Miguel Montero

Trading for Miguel Montero from the Arizona Diamondbacks during the 2014-2015 offseason was one of several signs, along with bringing in Joe Maddon and Jon Lester, that the team was ready to take a big leap forward during the 2015 season. Montero had spent his entire career with Arizona and had established himself as one of the game’s best offensive catchers.

Coming off an All-Star appearance in 2014, Montero came to the Cubs and got into 113 games. (David Ross would serve as Lester’s “personal” catcher.) Montero had a solid year at the plate, hitting .248 with 15 home runs and 53 RBI. Montero wasn’t as good in 2016 and eventually lost playing time to Willson Contreras.

However, Montero came up with two big hits in the 2016 postseason. His grand slam late in Game 1 of the NLCS against the Dodgers, which broke a 3-3 tie, will live as one of Wrigley Field’s greatest moments. He also had an RBI hit in the tenth inning of Game 7 of the World Series, and as we remember, the Cubs wound up needing that extra run to win the game.

Unfortunately, Montero would leave the Cubs on bad terms. The Cubs promptly traded Montero to the Toronto Blue Jays after he publicly criticized his teammate, Jake Arrieta. Montero’s career quickly fizzled out after that.