As expected, Kurt Suzuki is on the Cubs’ radar as a possible backup to Welington Castillo according to a report from Comcast SportsNet.
The Cubs are looking to add a catcher or two this off-season and while they have been connected to Brian McCann and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, neither big money free agents fit into the backup catcher’s role the Cubs are looking to fill.
Kurt Suzuki spent last season with the Nationals and A’s and posted a .232/.290/.337 line in 94 games with 13 doubles, one triple, five home runs and a .627 OPS. The 30-year old veteran catcher has been shuffled back and forth between Washington and Oakland the past two seasons.
Dioner Navarro does not appear to be an option for the Cubs moving forward. Navarro figures to cash in on his career year and is looking for more playing time. The front office is staying in contact with Navarro but he is looking for a multi-year contract thought to be in the $10-$12 million range.
The Cubs view Welington Castillo as their everyday catcher for now and he is seen as one of the positives from last season. Castillo made improvement at the plate and with his defense before ending the year on the DL.
Welington Castillo hit .274/.349/.397 in 113 games last season with 23 doubles, eight home runs and a .746 OPS. After an inconsistent start to the year, Castillo hit .288/.388/.475/.863 with eight doubles and six home runs after the break. Castillo has fully recovered from right knee surgery and is expected to be ready to go when pitchers and catchers report to Mesa in February.
The Cubs have “cast a pretty wide net” for another catcher this off-season and could acquire a back-up backstop via free agency or trade.