Chicago Cubs' Contreras on injured list, Montgomery traded
Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras left Wrigley Field late Monday afternoon for an MRI on his right foot, and the result set off a chain reaction that led to a late-night trade.
Contreras will go on the 10-day injured list with a strain of the arch. After the Cubs lost 6-3 to the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night, Cubs president Theo Epstein announced the Cubs had acquired veteran catcher Martin Maldonado from the Kansas City Royals in a trade for left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery, who earned the save in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series for the Cubs.
"Our medical staff feels like if (Contreras) tried to play on it, he'd be risking exacerbating the injury and turning into something long term," Epstein said. "So we have to get ahead of it, take it out of Willy's hands and get him off his feet. We don't expect it to be longer than the 10 days."
Contreras suffered the injury in Saturday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and he did not play Sunday.
Maldonado, 32, has played for Milwaukee, the Angels, Houston and Kansas City. He won a Gold Glove for the Angels in 2017. With the Royals this year, he had a line of .224/.288/.359 with 6 homers and 17 RBI entering Monday. He will share time with Victor Caratini while Contreras is on the IL.
Montgomery was emotional. He was 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances. In Kansas City, his original organization, he will get a chance to start. The Cubs obtained him from Seattle in a deal that sent first baseman Dan Vogelbach Mariners on July 20, 2016.
"Bittersweet, for sure," he said. "Excited for the new opportunity and obviously wish things would have been a little bit different for me this year. It's definitely an emotional thing, the last three-and-a-half years here and obviously the World Series. I kind of grew up a lot here. Definitely going to miss playing here in the city with a lot of these guys. I definitely want to thanks the fans here. They're awesome fans."
Theo Epstein said he has been in touch with veteran infielder-outfielder Ben Zobrist, who went on the restricted list May 8 to deal with family issues. The Cubs have said Zobrist might rejoin the team at some point.
"We're due to talk soon and maybe get a little more specific about plans and timetables and things like that, but I don't have anything for you guys at this time on it," Epstein said.
One possible time Zobrist could come back is when rosters expand in September.
Hamels getting closer:
Left-hander Cole Hamels threw from 120 feet in the outfield Monday, up from the 105 feet this past weekend. Hamels indicated it went well, and if he checks out fine Tuesday, he could throw from the bullpen mound Wednesday.
"Really positive," Theo Epstein said. "Right before the end of the first half he got to a point where he was pretty much symptom free. We wanted to see how he responded to some treatment over the break. He came back feeling really good. We let him get out there on flat ground. It went really well. He's raring to go."
Montini's champions honored:
The Montini Catholic (Lombard) High School baseball team was honored on the field before the game for winning the Class 3A title last month. The Broncos defeated St. Laurence 6-3 to win the championship. Team members gathered behind home plate for a photo.