(670 The Score) The decision to sign with the Cubs was an easy one for catcher Chris Gimenez. If returning to Minnesota wasn’t an option, he said Chicago was the top choice.
When the 35-year-old Gimenez signed with the Cubs, a reaction took place. After all, he was the personal catcher for free-agent right-hander Yu Darvish in Texas, and many believed it could be a sign of something to come.
Gimenez found the assumptions entertaining, as he explained on the Mully & Hanley Show on Thursday.
“My wife and I were joking that I’m the precursor to Darvish or even (Alex) Cobb signing,” Gimenez said. “That would be tremendous if either one of those guys decided to come on board. I can’t say I haven’t been trying to work on either of them, just because I am pretty good friends with both of them. But I really have nothing to do with it in the long run. They’re going to make the decision that’s based on what’s best for them and their careers.”
The Cubs are among teams in play for the 31-year-old Darvish, considered by many as the top pitcher on the market. In addition to him, Jake Arrieta and Cobb remain free agents as spring training opens up next week.
A stagnant free-agent market has left teams like the Cubs, Brewers, Twins and more awaiting word from players who could lead a rotation.
“I definitely think if either one of those guys decided to come here, it would definitely improve our chances,” Gimenez said. “But there are some other teams in our division that have gotten a lot better too this offseason. I think the front office is really pushing hard to get one or more of those guys. We’ll see where it ends up.”
Gimenez has given Darvish a pitch to join him with the Cubs, though he also has given context to what the Twins could offer. He has been respectful of the decision Darvish will have to make but also is working to recruit him for the Cubs.
“I was honest with (Darvish),” Gimenez said. “And I think that’s kind of my job as a friend, to kind of lead those guys in the direction where I might feel they have the best opportunity to be successful, because that’s kind of the ultimate goal. He’s going to make the best decision for him. I wish he would make it already, because I think that could help a lot of things going down here down the line in the trickle-down effect. But I give him credit to sticking to his guns.”
Gimenez is expected to compete with Victor Caratini to be the Cubs’ backup catcher.