After starting catcher Willson Contreras hit the injured list with a right foot strain on Monday, the Chicago Cubs worked very quickly to add another catcher to his roster.
So quickly, in fact, that they traded for Royals catcher Martín Maldonado just hours after placing Contreras on the IL.
The Cubs traded left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery, a long-term member of their staff that recorded the final out of their 2016 World Series championship, in exchange for the 32-year-old backstop.
Maldonado, the winner of the 2017 AL Gold Glove during his time with the Los Angeles Angels, is expected to take Contreras’s starting place during the star’s injury absence and then slot into the Cubs’ roster as a capable backup after his return.
The Puerto Rican catcher isn’t known as much as an offensive threat, as he’s only totaled a .220 career batting average with 57 home runs in a decade-long career that dates back to 2011. He is, however, highly respected for his defensive work behind a plate, something that the Cubs’ front office valued highly.
Montgomery, on the other hand, had struggled for the Cubs out of the bullpen this season, posting a 5.67 ERA.
Now, the Cubs have a safety cushion at the catching position which will give them added security during the season’s final stretch run.