Cubs add catching depth just ahead of Opening Day
Like the rest of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Tony Wolters will be heading to Wrigley Field for the April 1 season opener.
Only he’ll be in a different uniform.
After spending all spring training in Pirates camp as a non-roster invitee, the veteran catcher opted out of his minor-league deal. The Cubs — in search of experienced catching depth — swooped in and immediately signed Wolters to a big-league deal Wednesday, designating pitcher James Norwood for assignment to create room on the roster.
The 28-year-old backstop will serve as Willson Contreras’ backup after Austin Romine — signed to a 1-year deal over the winter — battled a knee sprain all spring. The Cubs are high on P.J. Higgins’ potential but he has yet to make his big-league debut and the team opted for experience on the Opening Day roster.
Wolters has played in 391 MLB games, catching more than 2,700 innings with the Rockies over the last five seasons. He carries a career .238 hitter with a .323 on-base percentage but is more known for his defense behind the plate.
Cubs fans might remember Wolters as the guy who knocked the go-ahead single off Kyle Hendricks in the 13th inning of the 2018 NL Wild-Card Game at Wrigley Field.
Wolters hits left-handed and also has experience playing a host of other positions, including second base, third base, shortstop and outfield.