For the most part, things remain status quo on the Chicago Cubs’ catching situation: the expectation is that Miguel Montero and David Ross will be the only catchers on the roster when the Cubs head to Chicago on April 5, but there isn’t a huge rush to deal third catcher Welington Castillo just yet. Most Spring trades occur, if at all, at the very end of Spring Training as teams sort out their rosters, leading to a natural waterfall effect of lesser deals and waiver moves.
That’s still the most likely outcome here – Castillo is dealt at the end of March or the very beginning of April – but carrying three catchers to start the season remains a technical possibility, as the Cubs have gone to some lengths to emphasize.
In the interim, all they can do is hope that Castillo stays healthy and plays well – check and check – and another team develops an overpowering need to come knocking.
To that end, Bob Nightengale seems to wonder if that team could be the Padres:
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 13, 2015
To be sure, it reads like Nightengale is doing some speculating there, but I doubt he’s completely plucking the names there out of thin air. We talked about the Padres as a Castillo possibility last week when Federowicz’s injury was first revealed, but they seemed like a poor fit, given starter Derek Norris’s offense-first profile (i.e., you’d think the Padres would want a defensive-minded veteran backup).
Federowicz’s injury was more serious than initially thought, however (he could miss 3 to 6 months), which maybe makes them more willing to pursue a starting-capable backup, since they may have lost Federowicz for the entire season? And Castillo won’t cost them much in payroll, in case they’re finally getting close to maxing out? And Castillo is great defensively, except for framing.
I don’t know. Still feels like I’m stretching. Never rule anything out when it comes to the new era Padres, but I still don’t think there’s an obvious fit here.