Unlike a baseball fan’s approach to drinking ballpark beers, Chris Gimenez’ tenure with the Twins was one-and-done. After spending the 2017 season with Minnesota, the 35 year-old has agreed to a minor league deal with the Cubs’ organization. Now, just as he did a year ago, Gimenez hopes to parlay that agreement into a big-league role as a backup catcher.
On the surface, this may appear like a relatively meaningless signing. However, once you consider the much more coveted free agent with ties to Gimenez, this transaction might indicate that Chicago isn’t done making moves:
If you missed it last night, the Cubs have signed catcher Chris Gimenez, who happens to be close to Yu Darvish … https://t.co/hZ858VdzYk
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) January 23, 2018
Previously, as part of the Texas Rangers, Gimenez (a 9-year veteran) was teammates with Yu Darvish. Not only that. He was Yu’s primary catcher. The now former Minnesota Twin has been in contact with the highly coveted free agent throughout this offseason. With that said, I’ll let you put two and two together.
From noon on Monday to noon on Tuesday, there were a couple of other developments in the Darvish sweepstakes, outside of the move his old catcher made to the Windy City.
First and foremost, the 31 year-old pitcher currently has at least one 5-year contract offer on the table. ESPN’s Buster Olney estimates that deal would be worth “something in the range of $100-125 million.” Second of all, the Associated Press confirmed that the Cubs are in active talks with Yu’s camp. As of Tuesday afternoon, whether or not the (or one of the) proposed half-decade deal(s) came from the 2016 World Series Champions had not been confirmed.
Outside of Gimenez’s new, and most recent teams (Cubs and Twins), the Brewers, Yankees, and Rangers remain interested in his old starting pitcher’s services. History shows acquiring top-tier free agents isn’t, to put it nicely, the Pohlad’s style. However, with Falvey and Levine now calling the shots, Up until recently, I remained optimistic that we had a strong chance to land Darvish. Technically, we still have a chance, but it’s far from strong. Actually, it’s weaker than the watered-down cold ones available at MN gas stations.
Despite being an advocate for bringing in Darvish, the second he signs elsewhere, I’m “on to the next one”. Plus, as someone who panics at the thought of commitment, the whole 5 year idea at this stage of his career, is terrifying.
Speaking of “on to the next one”, Gimenez’s departure means MN will have a different pair of catchers on their 2018 25-man roster. It looks like Mitch Garver will be the one to join returning starter, Jason Castro, for this year’s run.
Chris Gimenez signed a minor-league deal with the Cubs, which clears the path even further for Mitch Garver to be the Twins’ new backup catcher. Garver has hit .298/.386/.520 in 110 games at Triple-A. I’d like to see what he can do with regular plate appearances against lefties.
— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) January 23, 2018
Like the MLB’s pace of play, free agency has been slow. If nothing else, officially losing out on Darvish might cause an aggressive amount of dominos to start falling. By not having that lingering commitment, think of all the possible cool shit we could do.
To view who has already signed, along with who remains on the market, click here: MLB Free Agent Tracker