Chicago Cubs make a trade for former backstop P.J. Higgins

The Chicago Cubs have made a trade and brought back former catcher P.J. Higgins after sending cash considerations to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Chicago Cubs v Miami Marlins
Chicago Cubs v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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The Chicago Cubs made their first trade of 2023 by sending cash considerations to the Arizona Diamondbacks to bring back former catcher P.J. Higgins.

Higgins was drafted in the 12th round by the Cubs in the 2015 draft and he spent the majority of his professional career in the organization until he was designated for assignment last December. The 30-year-old opted to become a free agent and the Diamondbacks gave him a minor league contract which he signed on January 18th.

Higgins has had a great year in the Diamondback organization. In 58 games with Arizona's Triple-A affiliate, Higgins has been slashing .317/.407/.473 with 6 home runs and 46 drive in. He was likely brought back as catching depth since Iowa Cubs catcher Dom Nunez went down with an injury earlier this week.

Higgins made his major league debut with the Cubs in 2021, and he played in 74 games in the big leagues during the 2022 season primarily at catcher but also at first and third base. The versatile infielder/catcher could be called on to play games at first base at some point this year with the abysmal production coming out of that position for the Cubs so far.

Other than first base, I don't see a path for Higgins to get playing time at the major league level unless a lot of injuries suddenly hit the team. There are three catchers on the major league squad right now with Yan Gomes the starting backstop with Miguel Amaya demanding as much playing time as possible. Unless Tucker Barnhart gets moved at the deadline or Amaya or Gomes go down with injuries, Higgins will be in Triple-A for now.

As for third base, Nick Madrigal, Patrick Wisdom, and Christopher Morel can all play the hot corner not to mention Chase Strumpf and Jake Slaughter in Iowa.

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