While final details remain unknown, reports have consistently indicated that Chicago will take on most or all of the remaining financial commitments to Montero. The sides were said to be in talks yesterday.
Montero, a left-handed hitter, has three years and $40MM left on his deal. The 31-year-old has had two down years after establishing himself as one of the best-hitting backstops in the game. Last year, he slashed .243/.329/.370 with 13 home runs in 560 plate appearances.
But Montero still hits righties quite well and could make up half of a high-quality platoon in Chicago with incumbent Welington Castillo. (Unless, that is, Castillo is dealt elsewhere, in which case Montero will presumably be paired with a different right-handed bat.) Montero rated as an excellent pitch framer (per StatCorner) and strong overall defender (via Baseball Prospectus) last year.
Godley is a 24-year-old righty who has yet to move past the High-A level in Chicago’s system. Working at Daytona last year, he put up a 3.57 ERA in 40 1/3 frames with 11.6 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9.
Mejia, 20, reached Rookie ball last year after being inked by the Cubs on July 2 of 2013. As Ben Badler of Baseball America wrote at the time, the 6’7 prospect had been adding weight and fastball velocity at the time of his signing. He ultimately went for a $850K bonus. Mejia features a low-90s heater with a good change and decent curve. That fastball velo may still be trending up, per MLB.com, which ranked him 17th among Cubs prospects. Working mostly as a reliever, he threw to a 2.48 ERA with 10.1 K/9 against 3.8 BB/9 in 40 innings last year.
As MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes notes on Twitter, Arizona would leave itself without much behind the dish were it to deal away Montero. The free agent market for backstops is rather thin, of course, with Geovany Soto among the most appealing options. Players such as Dioner Navarro may be had via trade, though prying loose a more permanent solution may be difficult.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported on Twitter that the deal was in its final stages of completion. Bruce Levine of 670TheScore.com (via Twitter) reported that the deal was done. And Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (on Twitter) and Levine (Twitter link) reported the other pieces in the deal.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.