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.
This is more significant for basketball fans than baseball fans, but Magic Johnson is taking over basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers. Dan Feldman over at PBT has the full story on that.
For our purposes, you probably know that Johnson is part of the Dodgers ownership group. Anthony McCullough of the L.A. Times got comment from the Dodgers, saying that despite his new full-time job, his status with the Dodgers will be unchanged:
Maybe I’m alone in this, but I’m not entirely certain what Magic does with the Lakers, so the first clause in Kasten’s comment may be doing most of the heavy lifting here.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.