Ryan Dempster will have a familiar face behind the plate for his start tonight against the White Sox.
Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports that the Cubs have acquired catcher Koyie Hill from the Reds for cash considerations. He’s expected to join the club immediately.
The Cubs have a sudden need for catching depth now that Geovany Soto is expected to miss three to four weeks following left knee surgery and Welington Castillo is out for four to seven days due to a mild MCL sprain in his right knee. Blake Lalli is the only other catcher on the roster right now and he just made his major league debut yesterday.
Hill was non-tendered by the Cubs in December after batting .194/.268/.276 over 153 plate appearances last season. The 33-year-old backstop signed a minor league deal with the Cardinals in January, but was released at the end of spring training. He latched on with the Reds late last month and had a .195/250/.341 over 44 plate appearances with Double-A Pensacola.
Free agent right-hander Chris Tillman is narrowing his pool of potential suitors, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Returning to the Orioles is one option, of course, but Heyman also mentions another two undisclosed teams who are still in the running. An earlier report from Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun suggests that as many as four teams may be in the mix; either way, a final decision is expected by Monday.
Tillman, 29, has spent the entirety of his major league career in Baltimore. After posting career-high numbers in 2016, his progress was derailed during an injury-plagued 2017 campaign, during which he missed nearly six weeks on the disabled list with recurring right shoulder inflammation. He finished the season with a bloated 7.84 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 4.9 SO/9 over 93 innings.
While the mystery teams have yet to reveal themselves, the Blue Jays, Twins and Tigers have all expressed interest in the veteran right-hander this offseason. Both the Blue Jays and Twins have made big moves to bolster their rotations over the last few days, with the additions of Jaime Garcia and Jake Odorizzi, respectively. That doesn’t mean that Tillman is out of reach, however — if his price is right, he could provide some much-needed depth for pitching staffs that finished 15th and 22nd in the league last year.