The Chicago Cubs made a minor move that could have some large implications. Because of a recent addition to their roster, some are anticipating that the Cubs will be looking to add free agent pitcher Yu Darvish in the very near future.
On Monday, the Chicago Cubs addressed a possible solution to their need at backup catcher. According to NBC Sports Chicago, the Cubs signed veteran Chris Gimenez to a minor league contract.
Chris Gimenez is believed to have a strong chance at making the Chicago Cubs' roster on opening day. As a solid defensive catcher, Gimenez is now one of the favorites to back up Wilson Contreras. Chris Gimenez has a career batting average of 0.218. He played for the Minnesota Twins last season.
The Chicago Cubs are expecting his contributions to come from someplace other than behind the plate. There are MLB rumors and speculation that the Cubs signing of Chris Gimenez is a way to help convince free agent pitcher Yu Darvish to join the team. Darvish, along with former Tampa Bay Rays' starter and World Series hero Jake Arrieta are on the Cubs' short list of pitchers they have engaged in contract negotiations with. The Cubs are not alone in targeting each pitcher.
According to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth, the Milwaukee Brewers have submitted a contract offer to Yu Darvish. The Brewers are also believed to be involved with Jake Arrieta as well. It is uncertain how the Brewers rank Darvish and Arrieta. The Brewers being happy with either of the two is most likely the case.
Yu Darvish is not the only on the radar of the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers, but the New York Yankees as well.
Does the Cubs' signing of Chris Gimenez give them an advantage to acquire Yu Darvish? The Cubs' front office will never openly admit it. Gimenez could be viewed as a solid addition regardless where Yu Darvish lands.
The Chicago Cubs are expecting to either sign Yu Darvish or Alex Cobb, with re-signing Jake Arrieta as a viable option. Chris Gimenez's experience handling the pitching is beneficial to the Cubs and will help the pitcher who takes the mound.
Familiarity is important, however. The biggest boon Chris Gimenez can present to the Chicago Cubs is his friendship with Yu Darvish.Chris Gimenez and Yu Darvish struck a friendship during their time with the Texas Rangers. Gimenez was once Darvish's personal catcher. Together they enjoyed great success. By Chicago Cubs signing him, Gimenez could try and convince Darvish to join him.
The Chicago Cubs may have made themselves the favorites to the free agent hurler, with Gimenez helping with the recruitment process. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the Cubs are currently engaged in contract negotiations with Yu Darvish.
If the Cubs are successful adding Yu Darvish to a four or five-year deal, they may once again become the favorites to win the National League pennant. Darvish gives the Chicago Cubs a formidable rotation throughout.