The Cubs acquired catcher Martin Maldonado from the Royals just two weeks ago, though Chicago is already exploring the possibility of flipping Maldonado elsewhere, The Athletic’s Robert Murray reports (subscription required). The veteran backstop “has been marketed in trade discussions….with the Houston Astros emerging as a particular team of interest,” The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney writes.
Willson Contreras hit the injured list at roughly the same time as the original Maldonado trade, and since Contreras is now back in action, Maldonado is something of an expendable piece on a Cubs catching depth chart that also includes Victor Caratini. Maldonado has seen barely any action since coming to Wrigleyville, and is hitless (0-for-11) over 13 plate appearances in four games for the Cubs.
If Maldonado is dealt, it will be interesting to see what the Cubbies will net in return, given that they sent a fairly interesting asset in swingman Mike Montgomery to Kansas City for Maldonado in the first place. Montgomery has struggled in 2019, though he has posted good results in the past and is under control through the 2021 season.
It isn’t any surprise that Houston is again linked to Maldonado, as the Astros were had interest in obtaining him from the Royals before he was dealt to Chicago. If a deal was completed, it would mark the second straight year that the Astros picked Maldonado up in a trade deadline move; Houston nabbed him from the Angels last July.