The Cubs have signed free-agent catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league deal with an invitation to Summer Camp, per Tim Stebbins of NBC Sports Chicago. There’s no word on whether Lobaton will report to Wrigley Field or the Cubs’ alternate training site in South Bend, Ind.
The 35-year-old Lobaton is a veteran of a few major league organizations, most recently the Dodgers, and a lifetime .215/.293/.319 hitter in the bigs. Lobaton joined the Dodgers in a trade with the Mariners last August, but he didn’t appear in MLB with either club in 2019 and hasn’t logged at least 100 at-bats in a season at the game’s highest level since 2017. The Dodgers recently released the switch-hitter, who posted a .236/.310/.427 line with 14 home runs over 374 PA in Triple-A ball a year ago.
Lobaton is clearly facing an uphill battle in carving out a role with the Cubs. They have an elite tandem behind the plate in Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini, not to mention an experienced third option in Josh Phegley.