Not a lot of details available yet, but, according to Oakland A’s beat writer Susan Slusser, the Chicago Cubs are going to be shortly picking up another catcher, Anthony Recker from the A’s.
The 28-year-old backstop (he turns 29 in two days) was DFA’d last week, so presumably he was placed on waivers, and the Cubs claimed him. Recker played a bit for the big league team early this year, but has been at AAA for the A’s since May. There, he hit .265/.358/.435, which is pretty close to the .850ish OPS he’s been putting up at AAA for the past few years. He can hit a little bit, but obviously he doesn’t profile as more than a back-up, assuming he can catch a little bit (which the Cubs must think he can).
The Cubs will have to clear a 40-man spot for Recker, and they’ll likely study him over the next month to determine whether he’s worth hanging onto as, perhaps, a third catching option in 2013 behind Welington Castillo and Steve Clevenger.
You’ll note that just last week, the Cubs DFA’d 29-year-old catcher Blake Lalli (who was subsequently outrighted to Iowa), leaving just two catchers on the 40-man roster. And I mentioned that, for September call-ups, teams usually bring up a third catcher … well, I reckon Recker will be that guy. What the Cubs see for his future, such that they’re willing to clear up another 40-man spot to take him on, remains to be seen.
UPDATE: And how about that, the Cubs are sending Blake Lalli to the A’s in a good old fashioned 29-year-old catcher swap. The Cubs get a slightly better hitting catcher, but one whom they presumably have to put on the 40-man, while the A’s get a similar catcher whom they can stash at AAA off the 40-man. That’s about the only way this makes sense.
UPDATE 2: The 40-man spot is coming by way of a Scott Maine DFA. The lefty reliever just couldn’t stop walking guys, despite his great stuff. We’ll see if the Cubs can deal him to another team, or if perhaps he’ll clear waivers, and they can send him back to Iowa.