Cubs Trade Rumors: Avila ‘Perfect Fit,’ Lucroy Could Be Option

Since relieving Miguel Montero of his duties after his public bout of brutal honesty, the Cubs have been in the market for a veteran backup catcher. No sooner had Miggy been handed his pink slip than Alex Avila’s name started popping up. The Cubs and Tigers have been engaged in talks the whole while since and it appears they may be getting closer to a deal.

Even though he’s having a career year at the plate, Avila is only a rental and would be used in a limited capacity in Chicago. As such, the Cubs certainly wouldn’t be willing to give up much for him. And after seeing the return they settled for in the JD Martinez deal, it’s easy to believe the Tigers wouldn’t be expecting much here.

Boom, there it is. While they don’t have any top-100 prospects (yet) left after the Jose Quintana trade, the Cubs’ system is going to be just fine moving forward and has plenty of those mid-level types available. A move for a guy like Avila, who would be an excellent presence and solid complement to Willson Contreras, would be well worth such a relatively low cost.

Before we go printing up new shirseys, though, the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales brings up the possibility of the Cubs pursuing former Brewer Jonathan Lucroy. Man, what a year it’s been for the two-time All-Star catcher, who turned down a trade to the Indians before being shipped to the Rangers at the 2016 deadline. I wonder if he ever regrets that decision.

Previously a monster at the plate and no slouch behind it, Lucroy’s production has really tumbled this season. Between that and his status as a rental, he should fall right there in that Avila range when it comes to a trade return. The Cubs are not among the eight teams listed on Lucroy’s no-trade clause, though one assumes the veteran would gladly accept any deal that rescues him from the Rangers’ sinking ship and puts him on a contender.

There is still the matter of him accepting a reduced role, which isn’t necessarily the easiest thing for a player of Lucroy’s caliber and potential. But he’s viewed as a solid teammate and would give Ian Happ some serious competition for most inscrutable facial expression.

My money’s on Avila here, but I wouldn’t be surprised by the Cubs making a move for either.

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