Last night, we learned that Marlins back-up A.J. Ellis could be a fit for the Cubs in their search for a veteran to place behind Willson Contreras, and allow Victor Caratini to continue developing.
Now, another well-suited option: Mets back-up Rene Rivera.
Adam Rubin reports, via sources, that the Cubs have contacted the Mets “to express interest in trading for” Rivera, and it doesn’t get more plain than that. It’s not like it’s a secret that the Cubs want to acquire a back-up catcher after losing Miguel Montero, and the market has plenty of options. Might as well be up front about it.
Rivera, who turns 34 on Trade Deadline Day, is hitting just .245/.291/.395 this year, but his calling card is defensive ability, which he’s still got in spades. Not only does he defend well, he’s been among the top 20 framers in baseball the last few years, according to BP’s metrics.
Names like Alex Avila and Jonathan Lucroy are certainly sexier, but incorporating starters into the mix as back-ups can always be a little bit dicey. If the Mets are in fact going to sell off rentals like Rivera, he might be the perfect fit for the Cubs.
Further, given his rental status and back-up role, it’s hard to imagine he’ll cost too much in trade, and he’s not making a huge salary ($1.8 million this year).