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Chicago Cubs News: Cubs acquire Martin Maldonado from Royals for Mike Montgomery

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With Willson Contreras hitting the IL, the Cubs moved to shore up their catching position with a defensive specialist.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals
Martin Maldonado
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs announced that they had finalized a trade sending pitcher Mike Montgomery to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for catcher Martin Maldonado. In a related move, the Cubs have placed catcher Willson Contreras on the 10-day injured list with a strained right foot.

The 32-year-old veteran Maldonado is known as a terrific defensive catcher as well as a terrific pitch framer over the course of his career. His bat is much less impressive, posting .220/.289/.359 line over 685 career games. He’s played for the Brewers, Angels, Astros and the Royals.

Montgomery was originally a draft pick of the Royals, although he never played for them at the major-league level. Montgomery came to the Cubs on July 20, 2016 in a deal that sent Daniel Vogelbach and Paul Blackburn to the Mariners. Cubs fans will forever remember Montgomery for recording the final out for his first career save in game 7 of the 2016 World Series.

Montgomery pitched well for the Cubs in 2017 and 2018 as well, posting ERAs of 3.38 and 3.99 respectively, working as a swingman between the rotation and the bullpen. He’s been less effective in 2019 with an ERA of 5.67 along with career-highs in both hits and walks allowed per nine innings.

Contreras hurt his foot in Saturday’s game against the Pirates and has not played since. The Cubs have termed the injury to not be serious, but it was clearly serious enough to place him in the IL and pick up another catcher to share time with Victor Caratini.

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