Free-agent catcher Chris Gimenez is signing with the Cubs, source tells SB Nation.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) January 23, 2018
Gimenez debuted with the Indians in 2009 and has played for the Rays, Rangers, Mariners and most recently the Twins. The .218 career hitter (with a more impressive .309 OBP) is thought of as a defense first backstop. He threw out 30% of attempted base stealers last season. Ken Rosenthal reports Gimenez will get a chance to compete for the backup job with Caratini.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 23, 2018
The signing likely ends any chance Alex Avila had of returning to Chicago. Gimenez caught for the Rays from 2012-13 under manager Joe Maddon and pitching coach Jim Hickey and worked with potential Cubs target Alex Cobb. It’s another Gimenez connection, however, that has gained the most attention with his addition.
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) January 23, 2018
If you're gonna lean solely on numbers, get 'em right.
They were paired 12 times in MLB w/ 3.29 ERA. Gimenez also caught all his bullpens in extended spring of 2016 as Darvish worked back from Tommy John. Darvish has told friends Gimenez is his all-time favorite catcher. https://t.co/JUaocNElOR
— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) January 23, 2018
Many have already started to ask if this signing is similar to David Ross coming in as Jon Lester‘s personal catcher in 2015. Frankly it’s too soon to know. It’s just as likely his connection to Maddon and Hickey is the reason he was added. In an off-season as slow as this one it’s likely to fuel rampant speculation.