TODAY: The Cubs have officially announced the signing.
JANUARY 22, 10:31am: Romine’s deal comes with a $1.5MM guarantee, tweets Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports Chicago.
10:00am: The Cubs have agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent catcher Austin Romine, reports MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (Twitter link). The deal is still pending a physical.
Romine, 32, gives the Cubs an experienced backup option to Willson Contreras, replacing Victor Caratini, who was traded to the Padres as part of the Yu Darvish deal. Romine spent the 2020 season in Detroit — his first professional season anywhere outside the Yankees organization — but managed just a .238/.259/.323 batting line in 135 trips to the dish.
The longtime Yankees backup has never provided much in the way of offense, evidenced by a lifetime .239/.278/.361 slash through 1251 plate appearances. He did turn in a more impressive .281/.310/.439 output during his final year with the Yankees, but that production looks more like an outlier than the start of a new norm for Romine.
Defensively, Romine has generally been regarded as an above-average pitch framer, though his numbers have dipped over the past couple seasons. His career 23 percent caught-stealing rate is south of the roughly 27 percent league average, although Romine reached as high as 30 percent in that regard as recently as 2019. Baseball Prospectus typically rates him as average or better at blocking balls in the dirt.
Romine is standard-fare backup catcher who’ll give the Cubs an experienced option that allows promising youngster Miguel Amaya to open the season in the minor leagues. Should the team still move Contreras, which they’re reportedly open to doing, they’ll need to bring in another catcher, however — one with more upside and the potential to serve as a regular option.
With Romine in the fold, the Cubs’ payroll climbs, modestly, to about $145MM. They’re nowhere near the $200MM+ marks they carried over the past couple seasons (prior to prorating, of course, in 2020), but ownership’s mandate to scale back payroll has been readily apparent for quite some time now.
I thought he was going to be a Tiger again. Phew
The Yankees had him properly assessed as a BUC. He’d have been fine if he returned to the Tigers in that role. They need to figure out their starting catcher!
Agreed. They could have gotten negative value from any tandem of BUC’s last year as opposed to paying Romine for what they did.
Alex Avila sign with Detroit two years 16 million
Two years and $16 million for Alex Avila? He’ll be lucky to get what Romine got…
The stove is catching on fire!
Lettuce acknowledge this signing.
I concur. This is a salad signing by the Cubs.
So you mean Solid? He’s no Victor Caratini but he’s a decent back up to Willson Contreras
Agree with him being okay but buying cheap 4 good is Hoyer trade mark
Well done sir.
It’s just the tip of the iceberg
for Austin Romaine.
Great, so he’ll be the starting catcher after the Cubs trade Willson Contreras for a bucket with a hole in it.
I love Romine. One of my favorite back-ups. The Cubs will definitely be happy with his catching.
No he’s the backup. Plain and simple. If for some stupid reason the cubs trade Contreras they’d for sure get a catcher in the package. He would met minimum 4 players. And 2 of them would be too 10 prospects. If anything they need to extend him. This is only a 1 year deal. Amaya will be ready at the latest 2022. He’ll be the backup to Contreras. If they’re no cheap again and actually smart they’d extend Contreras next winter.
If the Cubs could get two top 10 prospects for Contreras, then he would have been traded already.
Exactly. The Cubs got 3-$2 scratch offs and midday pick 4 in return for 3 years of Cy Young runner up Yu Darvish
Not really. You don’t trade your best catcher in your franchise since probably Joe Girardi maybe Jody Davis. Maybe even Geovany Soto for a bag of peanuts.
Do you really think that the Cubs FO is concerned with historical context when it comes to a trade?
White Sox fans are hilarious. They bash him, the contract, and scream from the mountain tops he’s overrated. Now that he’s with the padres he’s an unbelievable talent and the cubs got robbed. Pick a lane. For all their faults the cubs have a pretty good track record with international signings. My only major complaint about the trade is they didn’t get back any young pitching. Davies pitches on par with Darvish, Hoyer will come out looking pretty good.
If Darvish didn’t get a good return Contreras ain’t getting one.
60mil vs 7mil and 2 years of control. If they’re dumb enough and that cheap to trade him. He absolutely will get a haul back. Which is why you hold onto a player like him.
You get minimum 4 players for him. Within 2 years of he becomes a free agent he’ll be at that time tbe best catcher in baseball. He’s not far off from that right now.
That was a contract dump and they got a number three starter in return for little money. Darvish was probably the second or third best pitcher in all of baseball second half of 19 and last season. Darvish trade was about shedding payroll. Why include Caratini? Must have been demanded by San Diego. No team had better catching combo last year in my opinion. IF there was decision on DH maybe Caratini would not have been included. Bad on the part of MLB. This issue should have been decided long ago. I thought the idea of a lefty righty catching duo with insurance for Rizzo at first was valuable.
I agree with what is said.
People make fun of folks for criticizing spelling etc, but a post like this–I can barely understand what the person is saying. I realize y’all are enthralled w yr nihilism, but try a good proofread and edit before posting. Otherwise we have little idea what you are trying to say.
I thought the Padres scammed the Cubs out of Caratini. Yu alone should have been able to get that return from the Padres done. I think they smelled desperation and asked, and were shocked when the Cubs agreed.
They needed a backup catcher, they got one. Quit complaining. The Contreras rumors have been nothing more than teams inquiring about him. Doesn’t mean they are going to trade him.
They should trade Contreras (and Hendicks) while they still have team control left.
Why would they do that? It’s not a complete rebuild. They need pitching and a lot of it. Why trade your ace and now your veteran starter? That’s just stupid. Sure they could get 4 players each and minimum 4 top 10 prospects but they dont need too. And they just extended Hendricks. That would be like the Blue Jays trading George Springer. A day after its officially announced and they introduce him.
Except the Blue Jays aren’t in the middle of a rebuild, their window is opening, while the Cubs is slammed shut. And Hendricks isn’t an ace, he’s the Cubs #1
He isn’t an ace?????
If Hendricks isn’t an ace then the white Sox don’t have anything close to one either.
Dude you should be trying to build Hendricks up, since it’ll be that much worse when the cubs trade him and easier for a hater like yourself to (rightfully) bash them.
I would argue that Giolito is certainly better then Hendricks
You could argue it but not sure it’s reality.
You could argue it, but you probably wouldn’t win. Giolito’s best season looks a lot like Kyle’s worst.
Gio is ways better then Hendricks. The bigger problem is that the Cubs have 3 pitchers with the exact same stuff all in a row. It’s what hallway when you can’t develop pitching.
Gio is still improving and Kyle is at his apex. Gios stuff is also way better.
Why is he way better ? What stats are you looking at because I don’t see it. Hendricks has 21.3 war in 1043 innings Giolito has 6.5 in 490 innings. Kyles era + is 35 points higher his fip is a point lower. Stuff as you put it means jack crap otherwise Tyler chatwood would have multiple Cy young’s. Giolito is trending up but why on earth cant Hendricks improve? Because he’s ancient at 31 years old? Plenty of pitchers have had their best season 31-34.
Bet Your Sweet Bippy
Lmao imagine being this guy. As a sox fan, you spend the past several years of your life hating the cubs and their success as your team flounders around the bottom of the standings. Over the years they make a trade here and there and before you know it the sox are looking promising. They start to pick up some nice free agents and now you are thinking about competing. All the while, the hated cubs have peaked years ago and you get to enjoy the embarrassing decisions made by the ricketts year after year. When it seems like the tables have finally turned and the sox are ready to be the best team in chicago for years to come, THEY HIRE AN OVER THE HILL DRUNK that is guaranteed to set your team back years. Implosion is inevitable! I guess that’s why you continue to troll cubs posts… trying to hide the pain of what will never be. F.
Rumors out of New York say Hendricks is a Yankee in 2021. Another piece Cubs were supposed to hold like Caratini. Watch him mash in San Diego. He was absolutely crushing the ball in 19 before the broken hand. Worthy of a starting job on some teams. Valuable switch hitter and at his salary was dumb to include him. The 20 plus million Bryant got could have been much better used. If Bryant does not recover this year trade value at deadline be zero. Considering Boras being involved he should have been the one to go.
Don’t know if you are talking to me but I’m not a white sox fan. Kyle Hendricks is a beast and I sure as hell would like him on my team! Lucas has been a different pitcher the last two years, he’s shown more strikeout stuff and he is in his prime. He is trending upward and has had two straight top 10 Cy Young seasons. That’s my argument, not saying I’m right but that’s just my opinion. I just really enjoy talking baseball and hearing everyone’s thoughts! I like Hendricks a lot too! He is kind of a throw back pitcher as he relies on commanding his pitches and generating soft contact. He Doesn’t walk a lot of people and his strikeout to walk ratio is insane. Hope you guys have a great weekend!
Who could the Yankees possibly offer to land Hendricks in a trade? I can’t see it.
Hoarding Hoyer is back at it. Don’t take all the MiLB free agents my guy!
Massive upgrade. They can trade the no name catcher they already got now.
1/10 for the troll attempt. You can do much better than that.
His name is Willson Contreras and he’s a top 3 catcher who started the all star game in 2018 and 2019. Hope that helps.
… who will probably be traded before the season starts.
Hope that helps.
Willson Contreras is a top 3 catcher. How is he a no name catcher. And now Victor Caratini is now a starter in SD. Not just Yu’s personal catcher. He’ll start 75% of the Padres games. If anything the Padres could use an upgrade at catcher.
Austin Hedges is still whining about Anthony Rizzo colliding with him 3 years ago. Which was legal.
Is this your first day on the internet?
1.5 mil. Is this the Cubs largest deal so far this offseason?
Not just that, but the largest signing in terms of dollars for any NL Central team this winter.
I suppose I’m on board with the “no one wants to win the Central” crowd. Still aways to go in free agency, but nothing leads me to believe any Central team is opening the pocket book.
The big move! Here comes a trade…..
Yep… Contreras and Hendricks to a team NOT named the Angels. :/
Arte misses yet another opportunity to upgrade the roster.
The Rickettes sweating right now freaking out 1.5 Million comeon Jed what we tell you about spending money lol
I am just excited they signed a major league contract. Now go sign a couple flyer sp, rp and an actual major league outfield.
They have to add pitching and OF depth. No doubt.
They need a Closer too.
Who needs a closer when you’re not even trying to win?
Let’s get those salad comments ‘tossed’…let’s face it, gonna be a dreary signing year for the Cubs. Are they hoping a few decent players fall to them and get a bargain rate? Sure smells like it…
With Romine off the board Alex Avila back to the Tigers!
I like Avila better than Romine.
Definitively a quality backup. Needed someone ’cause Amaya isn’t ready. Shocked he got that much guaranteed. I figured he was a minor league invite material.
World Series back on!
Voice of Reason
Why would the Cubs invest $1.5 million in a back up catcher who has a negative career WAR? The Cubs didn’t want to give Lester $2 million to return and don’t seem to be spending any money at all. Strange days at Clark & Addison.
Because Romine will be the starting catcher after Contreras gets traded for a broken toilet.
Not resigning Lester makes no sense. He also got 5 million not 2 form Washington. There was a 3 million dollar signing bonus.
I’ll always be grateful for what Lester did for the Cubs franchise, He delivered what you want from an ace – performance, leadership and class. But it was hard watching him last year struggle the way he did. I wasn’t particularly upset to see him move on and hopefully his stint with the Nationals will be productive. With pretty much all the serviceable left handed starting pitching gone from the FA market now, what will the Cubs do about adding a lefty to the rotation? Are they contemplating bringing up Marquez to start the season in the rotation? He would appear to need one more year in minor league ball.
The cubs need innings and a viable left handed pitcher. Lester made sense for so many reasons.
Can you really rely on a 37 year old for innings? Even a potential future HOF pitcher stops being effective eventually. Jon has been on a steady decline for the last couple years. He has to rely on location more than ever. When he isn’t sharp, he gets hammered.
He is an absolute bulldog, and will compete his *** off, but sooner or later, that won’t be enough.
Lester is worn out. He would probably be good with 15-18 starts a year. Last few seasons (18-19) by July/August had dead arm. Was getting shelled last season after first four or five starts. Hardly a number 5. Better to try a few young pitchers.
Too expensive for Cubs. They’ll trade him at the deadline to save $750k
Should of gone back to New York and dump Gary to save money. Romine and Higgy could of split the time.
Should have, could have.
Good heavens, no. Romine showed what he is playing regularly in 2020, and Higgy hasn’t drawn a walk in a regular season game since something like August 2018. August 2018!!! His career OPS+ is 59. Romine has a NEGATIVE career WAR. I’ll take my chances that Gary at least returns to 2019 form. Romine and Higgy have zero chance of returning to any form because they never had any upside. Both are perfectly cromulent BUCs, but pairing them to be a full-time catcher? Nope x2.
Romine is AWFUL.
The Cubs haven’t been spending for a couple years now, so this can’t be blamed on the pandemic. Ricketts just shouldn’t own the team any longer – he should sell and take his profits because he is too heavily financed and carrys way too much debt to allow Hoyer to spend like a big market team should spend.
In debt, because of Wrigley Field renovations. Do you really think he is going to sell after investing 800mil into Wrigley. Pandemic is definitely part of it, but so is the CBA coming up at the end of the year, possible strike. The majority of teams are not spending. Give Cubs 2-3 years of post pandemic revenue, and they will be spending again.
Think you’re right. Also they gave up a huge tv contract to start their own network. Probably a failure
Ricketts has been complaining about not getting enough ‘return on investment’ from his ownership of the Cubs.
That just goes to show how much of a business man he is. He should have realized how MLB ownership works, before he talked daddy into buying this ‘toy’ for him. The true profits from owning a MLB franchise, is usually realized when the franchise is sold.
Tommy boy seems to be operating like a rich kid who really didn’t earn his wealth, but was handed it, from daddy.
Fans of all teams need an owner like the Mets new one, who basically said I have a day job, I didn’t buy the Mets to make money.
Cohen didn’t buy the Mets to lose money either. He is making a splash to start. Betting it will be run as a business sooner than later
Cubs fans complaining about the Ricketts’ is comical to me as a long time fan. The Ricketts are the best owners the Cubs have had since William Wrigley, who died in 1932.
The Cubs were never “Cursed” they just had lousy management.
Spending a ton of money isn’t going to make this team great. A lot of the guys who won the WS in 2016 have regressed significantly in their production.
Tom Ricketts can’t fix Kris Bryant’s shoulder or wrist. (depending on what year it is) He can’t make Baez shorten his swing or lay off the curveball in the dirt. He can’t make Craig Kimbrell come out throwing strikes.
They are spending more than anyone else in the division at this point.
Play the Game
Good guy that could hit in clutch once in a while and decent defense. Wish him well
Another fantastic move by the Cubs this off season. Now the Cubs can trade Contreras since they signed the second coming of Johnny Bench.. They might as well got Rick Wrona or Moe Tacker out of retirement.
Okay Cubbies, give up Contreras, please. Yankees are a perfect fit.
Who do you need in return to make it work, Cubs guys?
Honestly, I would probably take either Schmidt or Garcia, Sanchez plus cash, and Medina. I would also push hard for Vargas.
Fraiser and Garcia/ Schmidt and another mid level prospect. so a 3 for 1. Then Cubs can resign Phegley
San Diego is paying Víctor Caratini $1.3 million this year. The cost cutting Cubs signed Romine to replace him at $1.5 million…
You’re forgetting the mediocre prospects the Cubs got in return.
Well, there is that…
And you are forgetting the 60 million they do not have to pay for Darvish also.
A few years ago Cubs’ fans loved Ricketts for having Theo Epstein spend a ton of money to win a World Series and now they want him to sell the team. That’s crazy talk. Unfortunately those signings panned out for a few seasons but it effected the franchise from the MLB roster to the farm system. Theo Epstein traded the Cubs’ best assets in the farm system every year after winning the World Series and never focused on developing guys.
Cubs’ fans are in store for a bad three to four years unless Bryant plays well from now until the deadline to get some real minor pieces that can produce in a few years. Bryant is good but his flaws are his approach at the plate since he was great at having protection around him in his first few years where he will that fast ball pitched to him but forget about him hitting pitches with movement. Bryant was exposed to not taking pitches and chases pitches out of the zone where opposing pitchers knew it. Bryant’s trade value declined in the last two year due to this factor and his injuries especially with his shoulder. Bryant swinging misses were brutal as if he was golfing and not trying to a hit baseball.
Austin Romine is a great free agent acquisition. Give home a chance.
Great might be a stretch.
Walladipo and Wood
Did that extremely annoying Cubs guy get himself banned?
I see him posting on the basketball forums but never here. So sad.