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Cubs roster move: Austin Romine activated from injured list, Tony Wolters DFA

The Cubs have a new backup catcher.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Cubs signed Austin Romine to back up Willson Contreras this season. Unfortunately, Romine suffered a knee injury during Spring Training and didn’t play in Arizona after March 6.

Today, he will make his Cubs debut:

Tony Wolters was signed just before Opening Day as a stopgap — the Cubs wanted someone with MLB experience to back up Contreras and didn’t apparently feel P.J. Higgins could do it. Wolters started one game behind the plate for the Cubs, caught in one other and pinch hit once. He was 0-for-4 with a walk. He’ll very likely clear waivers and be sent to the alternate site, and once the minor league season begins he’ll be stashed at Triple-A Iowa to be the “break glass in case of emergency” catcher.

Romine can hit fairly well, though he didn’t do so much in 2020 (.582 OPS in 37 games). In 2019 with the Yankees he hit .281/.310/.439 with eight home runs in 72 games. He won’t need to play that much with the Cubs, but who knows? Maybe he can help jumpstart the offense.

Romine will wear uniform No. 25.