cubs catcherTo the extent I can show the ball as much as possible (the opposite of hiding the ball): this is not a sexy rumor.

Chris Gimenez is a career back-up catcher who was, most recently, the very temporary back-up (back-up) in Texas after Geovany Soto went down with a long-term injury. Gimenez’s tenure didn’t last long, as the Rangers had merely claimed him off of waivers so that they could try and outright him to the minors. They did, and he instead rejected a AAA assignment, electing free agency.

Now that he’s a free agent, the Chicago Cubs may have some interest, according to Chris Cotillo. Are you an able-bodied catcher not named George Kottaras? Then the Cubs will be interested in you if you are available. Such is the state of the Cubs’ catching depth right now. (I just lit a candle for Welington Castillo’s various joints.)

Gimenez, 31, has bounced around the majors and the minors the last half-decade, with his most recent time spent in Tampa Bay. He’s always been light with the stick in the majors (.199/.292/.293), though he periodically put together a great season with the bat in the upper minors. In a pinch, Gimenez can also play first base or a corner outfield spot, but that would have to be one hell of a pinch.

Baseball Prospectus pegs Gimenez at just an average pitch-framer, so don’t look for any buried treasure there. Instead, Gimenez looks to be your typical light-hitting, very-capable-catching, long-term back-up. For the Cubs, they might consider him a more appealing reserve option than Eli Whiteside, behind back-up John Baker. Organizations have to make moves like this as they try to plan and protect for the future, so we’ll see what happens. Presumably, Gimenez will be signing a minor league deal wherever he lands.

  • woody

    Big Yawn: another ho hum meh catcher. If he refused a AAA assignment then is it really an option to sign him and send Baker back down? But from what I’ve seen of Baker I’m not too impressed. The Phillies were running on him at will and his throws weren’t even close. And why would he sign a minor league contract if he has refused a minor league assignment?

    • Brett

      He would sign one because that might be all he can get – and he might have refused the Rangers’ outright because they clearly weren’t going to give him a shot.

      And, no, I really doubt the Cubs would sign Gimenez and immediately bounce Baker. They like Baker.

      • cjk123

        Why do they like Baker? What do they see in him?

        I personally don’t really want to see him back there at all, his bat sucks and he can’t throw anyone out or even worry them that he might be able to throw them out trying to steal.

  • Patrick W.

    ::: putting on my Diehard glasses and wig:::

    Whiteside’s dug out dust up with Baez leads to his departure ala Michael Barrett after tangling with Big Z?

    Backing the right horse?

    :::: taking off disguise:::

    • Diehardthefirst

      Or Baez to Texas for Darvish?

      • Chad

        Giminez is just the first part of the Shark to Texas trade right?

    • woody

      So what is the deal with that? What does Whiteside have to do with Baez being ejected for arguing a strike call? Obviously there must have been something said that pissed off Baez.

    • hansman

      You forgot that this is a precursor to a Darvish deal later this summer.

      Cubs are going to send back everything they got for Garza for Darvish and Gimenez.

  • Cubz99

    Koyie Hill isn’t available?

    What dust up happened between Baez and Whiteside?

  • Diehardthefirst

    He had Baez at “hello” – Cubs may have Puig II in Baez

    • woody

      All the veteran players in camp for ST commented that Baez had a good attitude among them. I hope he is maintaining that in Iowa and isn’t going on an ego trip with all of the talk of him being the first guy up this year. With all of the exposure he has had this year it would be easy for him to fall into that trap. I think it would be good for him to struggle some this year to instill a good dose of humility in him and to hopefully avoid the trap tht Castro fell into last year.

    • dumbledoresacubsfan

      I think people are reading too far into the Baez dust up. Dude K’d 6 times in 10 AB’s. He’s a competitor–I would think he doesn’t like that kind of failure and was frustrated with himself. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Whiteside simply told him to shake it off and calm down before Baez outwardly showed his frustration.

  • Dustin S

    The state of the Cubs catching in the farm system is definitely pretty barren. Nothing against them and anybody can surprise and make it, but you have to look pretty far down for any that project as more than a possible light-hitting backup. Cael Brockmeyer at Kane County has the most potential of the bunch to me but he’s quite a bit away.

  • Los-Cachorros

    Baez tonight 0-2, missed 2 homeruns by couple feet on each at bat.

    • Chet Masterson

      I don’t know how that 2nd one stayed in the park. That was a moonshot to the very last inch of CF.

      Also – Vitters fell awkwardly catching a routine fly ball in the 4th and was lifted for a PH in the bottom half… so, potentially not good for him.

      • ssckelley

        Aw jeez, don’t tell me Vitters is hurt again!

        • Luke

          Reportedly walked into the clubhouse with the trainer, but no word on what’s wrong with him.

      • Spriggs

        Shocking… Vitters made a goofy fielding play? Then got hurt? Shock.

        • ssckelley

          Has Vitters been looking that bad in left?

          • Luke

            Nah. A fly ball drifted a little, and when he came over and moved in on it at the warning track and stumbled a little awkwardly. For a guy still getting used to left field, it was an acceptable play.

          • Spriggs

            He’s a ballerina out there.

    • Kyle

      His last four PAs have been a HR followed by three deep fly balls that couldn’t have missed by more than 15 feet combined.

      • hansman

        Please, dear Sweet Baby Korean Jesus…let him be over his adjustment period (amongst other things).

    • ssckelley

      Omg, he walked!

      • Luke

        None of those pitches were all that close. I suspect the pitcher was willing to semi-intentionally put him on.

        • ssckelley

          Without Vitters hitting behind Baez I don’t blame him.

          • Luke

            Who hits behind Baez doesn’t much matter. So long as Baez shows he is able to punish pitches over the plate, pitchers will work to the edges. So long as he is willing to lay off pitches out of the strikezone, he’ll draw walks.

            Whether Brett or the Babe is hitting behind him, it’s the same story.

  • Los-Cachorros

    Warmer weather those balls would be out.

  • Los-Cachorros

    Brett Jackson triples, Whiteside singles tie game.

  • Los-Cachorros

    Villanueva with a 3 run shot.

  • Los-Cachorros

    Brett Jackson with a single and a sb.

    • ssckelley

      Very nice to see, I hope he gets hot.

  • Medicos

    LeMahieu just singled for his 4th RBI this year. He’d sure look good back in Cub uni.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Hmmm, a guy with a sub-0.600 OPS outside of Coors doesn’t look good in anything but in home purples.

  • SenorGato

    The soon to be widely considered awesome Candelario (probably) went 2-4 tonight with a triple, RBI, and run scored. Very excited about a player this age displaying his offensive skills in the system, and he’s been a Cub since he was 16/17. One of the best prospect profiles in the system, right with the top guys but he’s younger and/or less game experienced.

    • ssckelley

      I am very high on Jeimer, I am hoping a few of those doubles he hit last year leave the yard. Potential top 100 prospect for next season.

  • Spriggs

    So why no Bryant today, anyone know?

    • Luke

      Ask Rizzo.

      • college_of_coaches


      • ssckelley

        That would be funny if someone did that.

        • KHRSS

          Done! Kris Bryant also has a twitter account if someone really wants to find out. I doubt he would answer though

    • college_of_coaches

      From twitter > Mick Gillispie @BroadcasterMick 5h
      “Kris Bryant is not in tonight’s lineup. Buddy Bailey says he has a little discomfort in his ankle. Could have played if needed”

  • ssckelley

    Wow, is Matt Moore next?

  • E

    I’m still wondering why we went to a little bit of trouble to acquire Kottaras just to release him. I haven’t heard the full story yet.

    • ssckelley

      I don’t think there is anything more to the story other than RR preferred Bakers glove over Kottaras’s bat.

    • jp3

      I’m with E, it does seem like they went through a bit to get Kott and then release him because they like Baker’s glove then go after a guy (rumored) that looks like he has less of a bat than Koye Hill.

    • Edwin

      I agree. Maybe they noticed something in Spring that they hadn’t seen from earlier scouting.

  • Jr 25

    Padres have a surplus of catchers. Trade for Grandal!

  • Spoda17

    Man, Kattaras must have tried to hit on Theo’s wife/or girl friend (no clue if he is married or not) to be shipped out so abruptly and us still in this type of dyer need for a career back-up, back-up catcher…