When Miguel Montero was designated for assignment last week, there were three possible outcomes: he’d wind up on waivers, be unconditionally released, or be traded.
Monday, the last of these potential outcomes came true:
#Cubs trade Montero to Blue Jays for PTBNL or cash— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) July 3, 2017
So, the Cubs will get something in return for Montero, most likely cash, although I suppose they could wind up with a minor-league lottery ticket.
It’s not clear how much of Montero’s contract the Blue Jays will pick up; they are, theoretically, only responsible for a pro-rated portion of the major-league minimum salary (at this point in the season, that would be about $265,000). If the Cubs got the Jays to pick up any other portion of the rest of the (approximately) $7 million Montero is owed for the rest of this year, that’s a win for the Cubs salary-wise, because it could allow some flexibility in picking up veteran help as we approach the trading deadline.
This trade means Montero will return to Wrigley Field next month, as the Blue Jays are scheduled for a series against the Cubs there August 18-19-20.
If you’re thinking this is a rare trade combination, you’re right. The last Cubs/Blue Jays trade before this one was in December 2001, when the Cubs acquired Alex Gonzalez from Toronto in exchange for Felix Heredia.
I assume the Cubs are also still seeking veteran catching help. While they have expressed confidence in Victor Caratini going forward, in my view it would probably serve Caratini better to play every day at Iowa and return in September.
As always, we await developments.