Blue Jays acquire Montero from Cubs

The Toronto Blue Jays acquired veteran catcher Miguel Montero from the Chicago Cubs on Monday.

The Toronto Blue Jays acquired veteran catcher Miguel Montero from the Chicago Cubs on Monday.

By Andrew Hendriks

Canadian Baseball Network

Designated for assignment by the Chicago Cubs after allowing seven stolen bases in a game against Trea Turner and the Washington Nationals last Tuesday, catcher Miguel Montero was acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday.

The Blue Jays dealt a player to be named later and cash considerations to the Cubs for Montero, 33, who has slashed .286/.366/.439 through 44 games with the defending World Series Champions this season. For his career, the left-handed swinging backstop has recorded an OPS of .758 with 124 home runs over parts of 12 seasons at the major league level.

In addition to allowing seven swipes, four of which came from Turner alone, Montero questioned Jake Arrieta's ability to effectively hold runners when interviewed after Nationals' 6-1 win last Tuesday. His publiv comments sparked an uproar among teammates, some of which took shots at their backup after hearing what he had to say about the 2015 NL Cy Young Award recipient.

"When you point fingers, you're a selfish player," said all-star first baseman Anthony Rizzo in an interview with ESPN 1000. "This is all over TV last night. Now I gotta talk about it today. We win as 25, we lose as 25. To call teammates out? What’s the point?"

Rizzo went on to say that this isn't the first time Montero has been found "barking" to the media.

Given Montero's questionable approach to dealing with last week's defensive issues, one would think that Toronto's brass reached out to Joe Smith before kicking tires on the veteran catcher.

After joining the Cubs at the non-waiver trade deadline in 2016, Smith spent the better part of three months with the recently ostracized catcher and likely would've had to have given a vote of confidence in his former battery mate's ability to help maintain a positive clubhouse chemistry in advance of the deal.

Having thrown out only one of the 32 base runners that have attempted to steal off him in 2017, the two-time All-Star will join Toronto as an offensive upgrade over the Blue Jays current backup catcher, Luke Maile.

To clear a spot on the team's 40-man roster, outfielder Darrell Ceciliani (shoulder) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. An additional 25-man roster move will need to be made ahead of Montero's debut with Toronto.

The Cubs are expected to pick up the tab for the lion's share of what remains on Montero's $14-million, 2017 contract.

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Andrew Hendriks

Born in southern Ontario during the late 1980's, Hendriks had a front row seat to watch the Blue Jays reach the pinnacle in '92/'93 as a child, an experience that only bolstered this Canadian's love for the "American Game." Having played since before his memory allows access too, his passion for Baseball grew over years of emulating his heroes on the local sandlots, memorizing the backs of chewing gum scented cards and travelling across North America to experience as many aspects of the game as possible. In 2009, Hendriks began volunteering at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame as a Weekend Tour Guide. By 2010, he was hired on to help curate for the museum & Instruct the fundamentals of the game along side such legends as Tony Fernandez, Roberto Alomar and Jim Fanning during the Hall's annual Kids On Deck program. Following the 2011 season, Hendriks began blogging and co-hosting a weekly podcast for www.BackInBlue.ca, a Blue Jays themed website ran by fans, for fans. Looking to continue connecting with baseball fans across the country, Hendriks is excited to join such a strong team at the Canadian Baseball Network and looks forward to chipping in.