The Chicago Cubs made a trade today, acquiring lefty-masher Jose Martinez from the Tampa Bay Rays, which was officially finalized before today’s game.
That means the Cubs needed to open up a 40-man roster spot for Martinez before today’s game, which in turns means that third catcher, Josh Phegley, has been designated for assignment. The Cubs now have seven days to trade, waive, or release Phegley. What will happen is that Phegley will clear waivers, and then he’ll be able to decide whether he wants to become a free agent or instead will go to the Cubs’ alternate site. Hopefully he goes, because you still want to have a third catcher available for the rest of the season in case there’s an injury. Right now, the only other options for the Cubs would be Miguel Amaya (who hasn’t played above High-A) or P.J. Higgins (a catching convert who is not on the 40-man roster).
Phegley, who has had success against lefties in recent years, was kinda supposed to be one of the Cubs’ against-lefty bats on the bench, while also providing the Cubs the ability to DH their non-starting catcher on a given day. But with Martinez’s arrival obviating both of those roles (because he’s a much better bat against lefties, and he will pick up some DH starts), it makes sense that he’s the guy who gets moved out.