Cubs Trade Rumors: Olney Says ‘Cubs Are Going to Add a Veteran Catcher,’ Still in Pitching Market

ESPN’s Buster Olney was definitive in saying that the Cubs will be trading for a veteran backup for Willson Contreras by the deadline. As has been rumored for weeks, Alex Avila is their top target and it’s really just a matter of reaching an agreement with the Tigers on price. Olney also confirmed that the Cubs have talked with the Rangers about Jonathan Lucroy, whose production has fallen off precipitously from his days in Milwaukee.

This isn’t revelatory by any stretch, nor is word that the Cubs have talked with Texas about Yu Darvish and Oakland about Sonny Gray. Olney mentions that they’re also monitoring the Zach Britton situation in Baltimore.

I understand that some of you may already be tired of these rumors and reports, especially when they’re so repetitive. But there’s something to be said for the redundancy, which is to say that we can be pretty confident in the veracity of what we’ve been hearing.

Notably absent from Olney’s brief report was Justin Verlander, whose name continues to float around elsewhere. It may be a while — like, right up to the deadline — before we see final resolution in the pitching market, since Darvish’s potential eligibility further muddied the waters there. However, I do think we’ll see some movement soon when it comes to the other end of the battery.

Acquiring a catcher will be much lest costly for the Cubs and doesn’t shake up the roster to any significant degree. A pitcher, on the other hand, would cause ripples throughout the system, as that would require the movement of prospects and a player from the current roster. And I’m not even talking about trading a current member of the 25-man, but of having to part with someone via option or DFA.

Just over a week to go, so what are your thoughts on who the Cubs go after?

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