The Chicago Cubs are looking to improve the team after losing almost 200 games combined in the last two seasons.
While they aren’t expected to go after free agents like Jacoby Ellsbury or Shin-Soo Choo due to their inflated price tags, the Cubs have reportedly said they would consider free agency only if the player targeted is a good fit and if he’s affordable within the team’s budget.
One player they shouldn’t make a run to, however, is former Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
The Cubs already have a long-term solution at the backstop with Welington Castillo, who made great strides on both sides of the ball this past season to the point where several experts are considering him a core piece going forward. The Cubs are likely to lose Dioner Navarro, their backup catcher this year, in the free agent market, but targeting Saltalamacchia isn’t the solution at this point.
The only thing Saltalamacchia could give to the team is the ability to hit from the left side because he’s a switch hitter. He’s nowhere near Castillo in terms of defense and the offensive numbers are quite similar. Not to mention he would be a very expensive backup if he’s signed, and if he’s the starter it would hurt Castillo’s development going forward.
Saltalamacchia lost his place to David Ross in the recent World Series after a series of costly errors in the postseason, and he shouldn’t be a viable target for the Cubs. If they are looking for a solid player to complement Castillo there are cheaper options on the market like Kurt Suzuki or even Navarro if he’s keen to return to the role he had this past year.