Cubs general manager revealed that he traded catcher Martin Maldonado to avoid drama surrounding playing time. (Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
Cubs general manager revealed that he traded catcher Martin Maldonado to avoid drama surrounding playing time. (Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

Jed Hoyer explains trading Martin Maldonado; Kyle Schwarber now Cubs' emergency catcher


by - Senior Writer -

CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs are currently dealing with a somewhat precarious catching situation, as they have two healthy backstops on the active roster, with one of them coming in the form of perennial minor leaguer Taylor Davis. Starting catcher Willson Contreras suffered a serious hamstring injury over the weekend that is expected to keep him out for approximately a month.

Contreras discussed the injury with the media after landing on the injured list on Monday, saying that his emotional reaction to hurting his hamstring while darting out of the batter's box on Saturday came about because he immediately felt something seriously wrong. While Contreras is out, Victor Caratini is expected to serve as the primary starter behind the plate.

ESPN's Jesse Rogers wrote an article on Monday about the Cubs' catching situation, in which he interviewed Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer. Hoyer was asked about recently trading veteran catcher Martin Maldonado not long after acquiring him while Contreras nursed an injury in July. Maldonado was dealt to the Houston Astros at the trade deadline, and Hoyer chalked the deal up to not wanting to deal with drama surrounding playing time for the three catchers on the roster, which is something that the Cubs went through in 2015.

Although Hoyer traded Maldonado to avoid suffering through a catching logjam, he might look to sign a catcher on the free-agent mark while Contreras is on the shelf. Former Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who was recently released by the Los Angeles Angels, has been mentioned in rumors surrounding the Cubs, but, for the time being, the Cubs are moving forward with only Caratini and Davis behind the plate.

Following the injured-list announcement involving Contreras, Cubs manager Joe Maddon informed the media that left fielder Kyle Schwarber would be the Cubs' emergency catcher moving forward. Schwarber was a great catcher in college and split time as a catcher and an outfielder during his rookie MLB season in 2015. It is highly doubtful that Schwarber would set up behind the dish for the Cubs unless absolutely necessary, and it is highly likely that Hoyer and Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein will look to glean some catching assistance from the free-agent pool.

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