With the official addition of outfielder Chris Denorfia yesterday, most of the Cubs offseason moves appear to be nearing completion.
Some may still expect the Cubs to look for another veteran, top of the order option in centerfield still. Yet, the perception league-wide is the Cubs will soon have to deal last year’s catcher in Welington Castillo.
That is kind of the problem.
In talking with some industry people last night, they question whether the Cubs will get any real value for Castillo at this point. Everyone knows they aren’t going to break camp with 3 catchers, so the Cubs may not hold much leverage in a potential trade.
It is a similar situation to the Dodgers’ well-known outfield glut. People are just waiting around for the club to get ansty enough to move someone at a discount.
Castillo does still have some value around the league, but it is possible the Cubs may look to include him in an expanded deal to recoup more of it.
I don’t make it a habit out of second-guessing this front office, yet it is kind of a head-scratcher that they didn’t have anything lined up for Castillo after the Miguel Montero trade and prior to the David Ross signing.
One scout did express some surprise that the Cubs didn’t use Castillo as a “nice platoon” partner for Montero, but added that Ross will provide more value to the Cubs clubhouse with his leadership skills. Ross could very well be one of the lieutenants that skipper Joe Maddon has spoken of that he needs to spread his message and vibe.
The Cubs also DFA’d the recently-claimed Mike Kickham to make room on the 40-man. I had recently spoken with a scout who felt Kickham could have added something in a “loogy” role with the Cubs and was somewhat surprised they dumped him so quickly.
Despite his control issues, Kickham has a live arm, so it is likely some other club will take a flier on the lefty, making it doubtful that he clears waivers and the Cubs keep him in the fold.
The Cubs do have other options for that role like Tsuyoshi Wada or Zac Rosscup.
Getting back to the backstop issue, the Cubs may have a glut issue of their own for now. However, all it takes is for another club to realize they still need backstop help in spring training or for someone to go down with an injury and the Cubs could be holding some better cards.