According to Patrick Mooney of Comcast Sportsnet, the Chicago Cubs have interest in free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki. Mooney did not mention if the Cubs have already talked to Suzuki’s agent.
Suzuki is 30-years old and recently played for the Oakland Athletics and Washington Nationals. In 94 games and 285 at-bats last season, Suzuki had a line of .232/.290/.337, 5 home runs and 32 runs batted in. As you can see, Suzuki is not known for his bat. But he is known for his high baseball IQ and how he manages his pitchers. He will be a great role model and mentor to 26-year old Welington Castillo.
The Cubs are in the free agent market for a back-up catcher. Since Dioner Navarro won’t be back after a strong season with the Cubs and the Cubs have a starting catcher in Castillo. There have been reports out there saying the Cubs will shop Castillo. The Cubs could very well shop Castillo, but he’s not going anywhere. Teams usually shop their players to see what their market looks like. That doesn’t mean the team has any plans on trading the player. Last season, the Cubs praised Castillo for his improved defense and Theo Epstein considered him part of the core. So, why trade Castillo now? That doesn’t add up and make any sense.
With that said, the Cubs will not make a splash this Winter by signing named catchers Brian McCann or Jarrod Saltalmacchia. Castillo will be the future catcher behind the plate for years to come.
I could see the Cubs signing Suzuki to a 1-year contract, plus option or a 2-year contract, plus option. The Cubs may be better off signing Suzuki to a 2-year deal, so they have more control over him. Last season, Suzuki made 6.45 million. Suzuki will not make that much this season. Suzuki could wait a bit before making a decision on his new team to see if anymore opportunities open up. Suzuki may be better off waiting for both McCann and Saltalmacchia to sign and seeing if anymore team gauge interest in his services.
In my article; “My Off-season Wishlist for the Chicago Cubs,” I predicted the Cubs signing Suzuki to back-up Castillo. Yes, it was a prediction but I wrote-up the article before any interest was reported. I still think that’s pretty cool. You can see my article of the wishlist here.