Chicago Cubs Rumors: What's next at the catcher position?

Chicago Cubs v Miami Marlins
Chicago Cubs v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

There are going to be some new faces to the Chicago Cubs in 2023. Aside from Christopher Morel, Seiya Suzuki, Nico Hoerner, and Marcus Stroman; there is a strong possibility that the 2023 Cubs' roster will not look familiar.

Willson Contreras has turned down the qualifying offer, officially making him a free agent. Like anyone, there is a chance that Contreras could return to the Cubs on a long-term deal, but if he doesn’t, who will the catchers be on the active roster?

Right now, the Cubs' options at catcher are Yan Gomes, Miguel Amaya, and P.J. Higgins. However, with Higgins, he may be more of a 1st baseman and an emergency catcher.

In 2021, Gomes signed a 2 -year contract, therefore the Cubs will have the 35-year-old catcher for one more season. But, for a team that is eyeing to go in the younger direction, is having a 35-year-old the best idea for your starting catcher? 

Miguel Amaya is a top prospect for the Cubs but injuries have derailed his arrival at the Major League Level. Amaya, who played just 28 games in AA last season, hit .278 with 19 RBI, and a .379 OBP. Amaya may have a shot at making his Major League debut in 2023 but that will be dependent on his recovery from an ankle injury that ended his 2022 season prematurely.

The catcher position in free agency is not the strongest. With Contreras leading the way, the next best catchers are Gary Sanchez (MIN), Roberto Perez (PIT), Omar Narvaez (MIL), and Christian Vazquez (HOU).

If the Cubs want to stay young, then they probably won’t even sign a catcher, and just have Gomes and Higgins at the Major League level with Amaya nearing the Major Leagues.

However, if the team's front office thins Amaya needs a little more time recovering from his injury, then signing Christian Vazquez may be the best move.

Vazquez started the season with the Boston Red Sox and was traded at the deadline to the Houston Astros. For the 2022 season, Vazquez hit .274 with 52 RBI, and a .315 OBP. Behind the plate, he had 8 errors combined between his time with the Red Sox and Astros. Vazquez also brings something that Cubs' manager David Ross likes, and that is utility players. Throughout his career, Vazquez has played catcher and every infield position besides shortstop The 32-year-old catcher may be a good fit for the team, especially if the Cubs want to make a move at the position at the deadline.

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Overall, signing a catcher may not be a top priority, but it is definitely a need. P.J. Higgins has potential, but he might be just an emergency option, and who knows how long Amaya's recovery will be.