Victor Caratini Named as a Trade Chip in Darvish Deal

Breaking: The Cubs now say Victor Caratini named as a trade chip in the pending Yu Darvish deal.

And the hits just keep on coming for the Cubs and their fans this offseason. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Cubs, just a short while ago, have apparently included catcher Victor Caratini in the deal that would send righty-ace Yu Darvish to the San Diego Padres.

While no players have specifically named as return pieces, there are rumors that pitcher Zach Davies may be involved. Nightengale further states that “Catcher Luis Campusano is staying in San Diego and is not part of the deal.”

Some thought that the Cubs announced the talks with San Diego in an effort to draw a heavier return from other teams for Darvish. Ironically, it looks like the Cubs are the ones who are ponying up.

Victor Caratini Named as a Trade Chip… So Who’s Gonna Catch?

Dealing Caratini would leave catcher Willson Contreras and prospect Miguel Amaya to do the backstop work for the Cubs unless their intent is to pursue another veteran backstop. JT Realmuto? Hardly.

The Cubs have stated that they’re on a mission to drive down payroll costs for 2021, and with Caratini, Darvish, and others off the books, it looks as though they’ll be saving somewhere just shy of $100M – that is before they start buying players.

Meanwhile, San Diego’s robust farm system is being quickly depleted, especially after an earlier trade with Tampa Bay. In that deal, 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell was dealt to the Friars for nearly a half-dozen players.

Everybody scoffed when it was announced that the Cubs were looking to clean house this winter, but under the direction of the team’s new President of Baseball Ops, Jed Hoyer, the roster is thinning… and quickly.

Caratini and Darvish: Finding Sense in the Non-Sensical

In a way, this deal makes sense, if for no one else other than Yu Darvish. Victor Caratini has become Darvish’s personal catcher, much as Jon Lester wouldn’t be caught by anyone other than David Ross.

While the list of teams is not known, Darvish has a partial no-trade clause in his contract. If the Padres are on that list, Darvish could have demanded that Caratini goes with him, otherwise he could have blocked the deal.

Stay tuned. This is going to get interesting.

Updated 12/28/2020 at 9:00 PM Central

Deal reportedly done Sources confirm to that the full deal is Yu Darvish and Victor Caratini going to the Padres and the Cubs receiving Zach Davies and prospects Reginald Preciado, Owen Caissie, Yeison Santana, Ismael Mena

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Ken Allison, Baseball Dept Head
Ken Allison is the senior of two MLB Department Heads, as well as a writer and editor for Overtime Heroics. A life-long MLB fan, he's also written for CubsHQ and had the opportunity to try out for the Chicago Cubs in 1986.

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