Toronto Blue Jays Acquire Miguel Montero from the Cubs

The Toronto Blue Jays acquired veteran backstop Miguel Montero from the Chicago Cubs to help their floundering offense.

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News broke early on Monday that the Toronto Blue Jays have acquired veteran catcher Miguel Montero and cash from the Chicago Cubs for a Player to be Named Later. In a corresponding roster move, the Blue Jays have transferred LF Darrell Ceciliani to the 60-Day DL as he recovers from a shoulder subluxation.

 

Montero represents and immediate offensive upgrade at the current backup catcher slot, presently occupied by the light-hitting but very handsome Luke Maile. No word yet on the fate of Luke Maile, who’s played exceptional defense behind the plate, but like Montero, has not thrown out many runners, often due to slow pitcher times to home on both sides. While Maile could potentially be a very capable defensive backup, his complete lack of offensive prowess had the Blue Jays front office looking for an upgrade.

 

Standard Batting
Year G PA AB R 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2015 113 403 347 36 11 0 15 53 49 103 .248 .345 .409 .754 108
2016 86 284 241 33 8 1 8 33 38 58 .216 .327 .357 .684 85
2017 44 112 98 12 3 0 4 8 11 24 .286 .366 .439 .805 112
12 Y 1149 4229 3703 446 194 7 124 542 432 855 .260 .342 .416 .758 103
162 162 596 522 63 27 1 17 76 61 121 .260 .342 .416 .758 103
ARI 906 3430 3017 365 172 6 97 448 334 670 .264 .342 .421 .763 103
CHC 243 799 686 81 22 1 27 94 98 185 .242 .342 .395 .737 100
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/3/2017.

 

In 12 MLB seasons, Montero has produced an OPS+ of 103, which isn’t spectacular, but provides a significant upgrade over Maile. In 2017 he’s actually been very good, with a 112 OPS+, especially considering Maile’s -12 which, to be blunt, is spectacularly bad.

 

Montero and the Cubs

The 33-year old Venezuelan was designated for assignment last week by the Cubs after criticizing his pitching staff for not holding runners on base, mainly star SP Jake Arrieta. While Montero has a strong case with Arrieta, Jon Lester and John Lackey all being mediocre-to-terrible at holding runners on. Still, the whole situation smacks of some potential character issues.

So, there’s that.

 

The bottom line is that the Blue Jays desperately need something to get them going again, and Montero, depending on how much cash the Cubs will eat, is a great start in heading in that direction. Plus, it looks like the Cubs will be on the hook for the majority of his $14 Million in 2017:

 

The Russell Martin Thing

Russell Martin has been playing more and more at third base this season, and he’s shown that he’s a good enough defender there for this to not be much of a problem. The Blue Jays might be protecting their long-term investment here, and the acquisition of Montero might be a sign of that. With a capable backstop with good framing abilities taking much of the load off of Russell Martin behind the dish, it allows manager John Gibbons to slot Russell Martin into the lineup – potentially as a second baseman. This maneuver adds an extra left-handed bat to the lineup and on some days, could plug the giant sucking black hole at second  base while Devon Travis recovers from yet another knee surgery.

 

Montero is a free agent after the season, so this is a very low-risk move on the part of the Toronto Blue Jays. Luke Maile will likely be retained within the organization, allowing time for youngsters such as Reese Mcguire, Danny Jansen and Max Pentecost to develop at a reasonable pace.

 

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*Featured Image Credit: C Stem- JFtC

 

 

 

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Roy’s earliest memories all involve baseball from the early 90’s and the Blue Jays dream teams. He became a Blue Jays fan while watching Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green evolve in Syracuse, NY at the run-down confines of MacArthur Stadium, nestled between highway and swamp. A lifelong baseball player, Roy still plays (P, C, 2B, 3B) in the 25+ Syracuse MSBL for the Liverpool Mets. He watches almost all games with his best buddy Sebastian, a five year old Pug, who could care less.

Roy-Z

Roy’s earliest memories all involve baseball from the early 90’s and the Blue Jays dream teams. He became a Blue Jays fan while watching Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green evolve in Syracuse, NY at the run-down confines of MacArthur Stadium, nestled between highway and swamp. A lifelong baseball player, Roy still plays (P, C, 2B, 3B) in the 25+ Syracuse MSBL for the Liverpool Mets. He watches almost all games with his best buddy Sebastian, a five year old Pug, who could care less.