Cubs acquire Miguel Montero

The Cubs acquired catcher Miguel Montero from Arizona for minor league pitchers Jeferson Mejia and Zack Godley on the second day of the winter meetings.

After losing out on the free-agent sweepstakes for Russell Martin, the Cubs addressed their need behind the plate trading for two-time all-star Miguel Montero.

Unless the Cubs deal Castillo, they have a solid platoon to handle the catching duties and Rafael Lopez in AAA to answer the call in case of an injury. With Montero’s skills on the decline the past two seasons, a part-time job facing RHP might just make his three-year, $40 million deal acceptable.

The 31-year-old Venezuelan signed as a free agent in 2001 by the D-backs and spent five years in minors before making his pro debut in September of 2006. Montero has spent his entire career in Arizona, playing in 906 games over nine seasons. A two-time all-star, Montero hit a career-high 18 homers in 2011 and knocked in 88 runs in 2012. He sports a .264/.342/.421 career slash line but has struggled the past two years, batting .243/.329/.370 in 136 games in 2014. Montero fills two needs for the Cubs, a left-handed bat and good OBP. Montero’s best tool is his defense as he regularly ranks atop the league in pitch framing and has thrown out 31 percent of base stealers during his career.

To acquire the backstop, the Cubs shipped two minor league pitchers to Arizona—right-handers Jeferson Mejia and Zack Godley.

Mejia, 19, was one of the Cubs 2013 International haul, signing for $850,000 out of the Dominican Republic. The 6-foot-7 right-hander pitched in DSL (3G, 9 IP) after signing and then spent 2014 in the Arizona Rookie League (2-4, 2.48 ERA, 12 G, 40 IP, 17 BB, 45K, .204 BAA, 1.18 WHIP). Mejia can hit 97 on the gun with his fastball and also flashes a plus curve.

The Cubs 10th round pick in 2013 out of the University of Tennessee, Godley spent his first pro season between Arizona and Boise, throwing 26.2 innings with 28 K and only 5 BB. He started 2014 with Kane County, and after recording seven saves and 25 K in 15 IP, was promoted to Daytona. He ended the season as the D-Cubs closer and went 3-2 with 8 saves and 52 K in 40.1 IP. Godley commands a fastball in the mid-90s and a good slider in the low 90s.

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