Frank Catalanotto retires

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It’s not exactly major news, but Frank Catalanotto has announced his retirement.

When last we heard from him he was being designated for assignment by the Mets to make room for Chris Carter after 25 dismal games last spring. But before that Catalanotto was the kind of player it was hard not to root for.  He played everywhere — left, right, first base, second base and third base — he got on base at a really darn healthy clip, hit left handed and was never terribly expensive.  Not quite good enough to demand a set place in the lineup 160 games a year but far better than your average platoon or utility guy, Catalanotto was totally the kind of complementary player who could help out a championship team.

Of course he never actually played on a championship team, but that’s neither here nor there. What is here and there was that guys with Catalanotto’s skills are kind of fun to have around, and it’s quite remarkable when they hang in the game for as long as Catalanotto actually did.

Enjoy retirement, Frank!

Cubs acquire Martín Maldonado from the Royals

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Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.

Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.

Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.