The price for the trade was a player who threw one of the most important pitches in club history.
Cubs trade Mike Montgomery for Martin Maldonado
In exchange for Maldonado, the Royals received left-handed reliever Mike Montgomery.
Montgomery is best known for throwing the final pitch of the 2016 World Series after being called in to relieve Carl Edwards Jr. in the bottom of the 10th inning against the Cleveland Indians. Montgomery earned the first save of his career by retiring Michael Martinez.
You threw the most important pitch in Cubs history and we will be forever grateful for what you helped bring the city of Chicago.
Thank you to a true champion, @MikeMontgum22. pic.twitter.com/7rcV43v6II
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) July 16, 2019
Of course, it’s not 2016 anymore.
Montgomery has struggled significantly this year with a 5.67 ERA and an even-worse 6.21 FIP in 27 innings. Montgomery is currently posting career worsts in both strikeout and walk rates, and has more than doubled his career 0.9 HR/9 with a 2.0 mark this year.
Per Jon Heyman, the Royals saved around $400,000 with the exchange. Montgomery also comes with two more years of team control, so there could be some decent upside if Montgomery just needs a change of scenery to turn things around.
Why did the Cubs need Martin Maldonado?
The move by the Cubs seems to be in response to an injury to starting catcher Willson Contreras, who reportedly landed on the IL with a right foot strain. However, Contreras is reportedly not expected to be out for long.
Willson going to IL with a strain of the arch muscle on his right foot. MRI revealed a strain. Medical staff said playing on it could make it worse. Don't expect it to be longer than 10 days.
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) July 16, 2019
Maldonado has never been a slugger and was looking the same this year with a .224/.288/.359 slash line, but he’s a former Gold Glove winner that Cubs pitchers should be happy to work with.
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