X

Miguel Montero to Cubs: Latest Trade Details, Comments and Reaction

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2014

Sep 26, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero (26) singles against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

Miguel Montero is on the move.

The Arizona Diamondbacks dealt the two-time All-Star catcher to the Chicago Cubs for two players confirms the team's Twitter account: 

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 14:  Miguel Montero #26 of the Arizona Diamondbacks looks on during the third inning of a MLB game against the San Diego Padres at Chase Field on September 14, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
Ralph Freso/Getty Images

The trade doesn't come as much of a surprise. It was no secret Arizona made the 31-year-old available to the highest bidder.

On Dec.  6, Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported that the Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers had a preliminary deal in place that would've sent Montero to Los Angeles for a package that would've included Andre Ethier.

Rosenthal's sources revealed that Arizona's owners put the kibosh on the potential trade.

Two days later, Rosenthal and fellow Fox Sports reporter Jon Morosi revealed that the Cubs were potential suitors for Montero:

Chicago Cubs @Cubs

#Cubs have acquired C Miguel Montero (@miggymont26) from @Dbacks for minor league RHPs Jeferson Mejia & Zack Godley. http://t.co/O7KYZitJ4i

Rosenthal added that the two teams had been discussing the trade over a weeks-long period:

Jon Morosi @jonmorosi

#Cubs, #DBacks discussing trade that would send Miguel Montero to Chicago, sources tell @Ken_Rosenthal and me. @FOXSports

Few, if any, MLB followers would consider Montero the best catcher in the league, or a top-five catcher for that matter. In September, Bleacher Report's Zachary D. Rymer ranked the 35 top catchers in baseball. Montero came in at seventh.

In his summary of Montero's ability, Rymer wrote:

Montero’s a better player than the surface stats indicate, which has a lot to do with how the surface stats don’t give him proper credit for his receiving skills. But even outside of that, good health has returned him to being a catcher who can get it done with his bat as well as his glove.

While Montero wasn't an elite player at his position, he undoubtedly has a lot of value, especially given how hard it can be to find a good catcher.

Matthew Pouliot of Hardball Talk questioned the move, wondering why the Diamondbacks would be so willing to part with Montero without having any solid replacement in sight:

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

Sources: #Cubs, #DBacks expected to talk about Montero again tonight. Teams have been engaged for weeks. Deal appears to be getting closer.

After a disappointing 2013 season, Montero rebounded well in 2014, hitting 13 home runs and driving in 72 runs. He also had a slash line of .243/.329/.370. While those numbers aren't close to his peak of 2011 and 2012, they were at least steps in the right direction.

Good catchers are scarce in this year's free-agent market, and the crown jewel, Russell Martin, already signed a five-year, $82 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.

A player of Montero's caliber wasn't going to be available through free agency.

Trading for Montero won't radically alter the Cubs' fortunes in 2015, but it was a shrewd move that gives Chicago a ready-made MLB catcher in an otherwise thin market.

slash iconYour sports. Delivered.

Enjoy our content? Join our newsletter to get the latest in sports news delivered straight to your inbox!