It's not the attention-grabbing move we're all waiting for, but the Chicago Cubs addressed a need this week, signing veteran minor league journeyman catcher Joe Hudson to a minor league deal with an invite to MLB spring training.
Now, Hudson isn't about to leapfrog Miguel Amaya or Yan Gomes on the depth chart, and he probably slots in behind another recent signing in Jorge Alfaro. But we've seen the Cubs blow through catching depth in the past due to injuries, so bringing in someone as an insurance policy isn't the worst idea.
Cubs needed depth at the catcher position and Joe Hudson provides that
A sixth-round pick out of Notre Dame more than a decade ago, the 32-year-old backstop hasn't appeared in a big league game since 2020 and has all of 18 MLB games to his credit. He's bounced around a half-dozen or so organizations in recent years and it seems pretty likely he's ticketed for Triple-A Iowa as a safety net in case Gomes or Amaya hit the shelf at some point in the season.
As Brett over at Bleacher Nation points out, there are quite a few reasons this move makes sense, with the biggest one being a potential opt-out in Alfaro's deal with the Cubs. If he left and pursued other opportunities, it would leave Chicago very thin behind their primary catching tandem and Hudson, if nothing else, mitigates that risk a bit.
Last season, when the Tucker Barnhart experiment went off the rails, Jed Hoyer was able to bring Amaya into the mix in Chicago and it went about as well as anyone could have hoped. But the team's top catching prospects, Moises Ballesteros and Pablo Aliendo, aren't ready to do that - so these minor league signings of Hudson and Alfaro are, frankly, a necessity.