With Opt-Out Looming, Something Figures to Happen with I-Cubs Catcher Chris Gimenez Soon (UPDATE: He's Here)

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With Opt-Out Looming, Something Figures to Happen with I-Cubs Catcher Chris Gimenez Soon (UPDATE: He’s Here)

Chicago Cubs News, Chicago Cubs Rumors

When the Cubs signed long-time big league back-up catcher Chris Gimenez to a minor league deal this offseason, the prevailing assumption was that he would ultimately win the back-up job in Spring Training.

That owed not so much to Yu Darvish’s presence – the two are friends and worked well together in Texas – but instead to his veteran status, good receiving skills, noted rapport with pitchers, etc. He just kinda figured to be the guy who would win the job.

But that didn’t happen, and instead it was switch-hitting catching prospect Victor Caratini who got the job behind Willson Contreras. There’s value in spending time in the big leagues for development purposes, even if you’re starting as infrequently as Caratini has been, but it was always the case that the Cubs could make a swap after a couple weeks or a couple months if they wanted. In fact, we’ve always kinda assumed that June 1 was going to be a big decision date for the Cubs – that tends to be the date on which minor league veterans have an opt-out in their contracts. Either they’re called up by then, or they are free to sign with another club.

We believe that’s likely to happen with Gimenez, who may ultimately be added to the big league roster very soon, or may be moving on:

If the Cubs do not bring up Gimenez, given how many catcher needs there are around the game and his long career as a capable back-up catcher who can also hit lefties, the 35-year-old backstop would probably find a suitor or three immediately.

He’s not hitting at all at Iowa (.224/.316/.276), but that’s somewhat beside the point when it comes to your veteran back-up catcher.

If Gimenez does come up, Victor Caratini would probably go back to Iowa for a while. He could come back up if a need developed, or, at the latest, on September 1 when rosters expand, in which case he still would have been on the big league roster for three out of the six months of the season. Not too bad for a developing catcher in an organization with a young, ironclad starter in Willson Contreras.

UPDATE: Gimenez was indeed called up today.


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Author: 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.