Cubs select contract of catcher Chris Gimenez, call up from Iowa … C/1B Victor Caratini optioned to Triple-A Iowa … INF/OF Efren Navarro designated for assignment
The Cubs made three roster moves prior to Saturday night’s game against the Giants. The Cubs selected the contract of C Chris Gimenez from the Iowa Cubs, added him to the 40-man roster and called him up to the big leagues.
To make room on the 25-man roster, C/1B Victor Caratini was optioned to the I-Cubs. And to open a spot on the 40-man roster for Gimenez, INF/OF Efren Navarro was designated for assignment.
Chris Gimenez will be available off Joe Maddon’s bench for the middle game of the series with the Giants. Gimenez will wear No. 53.
Gimenez had a June 1 opt out in his contract. In other words, if the Cubs did not place Gimenez on the active 25-man roster, he could have elected for free agency. According to multiple reports, the Cubs did not want to risk losing him.
A report from Bruce Miles indicated Gimenez will not start Sunday night’s game. But with Yu Darvish scheduled to start, it appears the front office made the decision to bring up Gimenez that could have waited another five days in order to have him catch the series finale in prime time.
Chris Gimenez, 35, joined the Cubs on a minor league contract with an invite to spring training last off-season after spending all or part of nine seasons in the majors with Cleveland (2009-10, 2014, 2016), Seattle (2011), Tampa Bay (2012-13), Texas (2014-15) and Minnesota (2017). He is a career .218 hitter (190-for-870) with 22 homers and 82 RBI in 361 big league games, posting a .309 on-base percentage and .345 slugging percentage. Last year with the Twins, Gimenez batted .220 (41-for-186) with a career-best seven homers and 16 RBI in 74 games, turning in a .731 OPS.
With Iowa this year, Gimenez has batted .224 (26-for-116) with six doubles and seven RBI in 36 games.
Victor Caratini, 24, is batting .262 (17-for-65) with three doubles and four RBI in 26 games with the Cubs this season.
Efren Navarro, 32, hit .167 (1-for-6) in four games with the Cubs this season and batted .298 (45-for-151) with four homers and 27 RBI in 40 games with Iowa this season.