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Outgoing Cubs Catcher Rene Rivera is Off to Join the Angels

Chicago Cubs Rumors, MLB News and Rumors

It’s a transaction! And it’s connected to the Cubs in a tangible way! It’s like Christmas all over again!


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The transaction, itself, is not of overwhelming consequence, though it is notable:

Rivera, of course, became the Cubs’ back-up catcher in mid-August when he was claimed off of waivers from the Mets. At the time, the Cubs were without Willson Contreras, and Alex Avila had taken over as the starter. An ever-steady defensive catcher with good framing skills and the ability to hit left pitching, Rivera was an excellent back-up, and would have been a fine piece to return to the Cubs in 2018.

But, instead, he’ll head off to join the Angels.

For the Cubs, then, they will continue to consider their catching options. It remains possible that they’ll make no additions, utilizing youngster Victor Caratini as the back-up behind Contreras, with perhaps Kyle Schwarber sprinkled in very sparingly. It still feels, though, like having a true veteran back-up would be ideal. If the Cubs could get Avila to return on a very affordable deal, you’d be thrilled to have his lefty bat sticking around, even if there were some trade-offs behind the plate.


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Other veteran free agents types include Chris Stewart, A.J. Ellis, and old friends Geovany Soto and Miguel Montero. Rivera, in that role, was probably the best of the bunch.

The Cubs are fortunate to have a number of other potential future big league catchers coming up in the pipeline, though relying on Contreras, Caratini, and other youngsters to handle the entirety of the catching load is a big ask for a playoff contender.

All the best to Rivera, and thanks for that grand slam.

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.