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Cubs trade catcher Montero to Blue Jays

MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

CHICAGO -- The Cubs dealt veteran catcher Miguel Montero to the Blue Jays on Monday in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Montero, who was designated for assignment after making critical comments toward pitcher Jake Arrieta, batted .286 in 44 games with the Cubs in his role as backup catcher.

CHICAGO -- The Cubs dealt veteran catcher Miguel Montero to the Blue Jays on Monday in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Montero, who was designated for assignment after making critical comments toward pitcher Jake Arrieta, batted .286 in 44 games with the Cubs in his role as backup catcher.

According to reports, the Cubs will pick up the majority of Montero's $7 million remaining salary.

Montero expressed his gratitude to the Blue Jays in a tweet, writing, "I want to thank the Blue Jays organization and Ross Atkins the General Manager for this huge opportunity."

Tweet from @miggymont26: I want to thank the @BlueJays organization and Ross Atkins the General Manager for this huge opportunity.

Last Tuesday, the Nationals stole seven bases against Arrieta and Montero in a 6-1 win over the Cubs. Montero, 33, was 1-for-32 throwing out basestealers this season.

"It really sucked because the stolen base goes on me," Montero said after the game. "When you really look at it, the pitcher doesn't give me any time. It's like, 'Oh, yeah, Miggy can't throw anybody out.' Yeah, but my pitchers don't hold anybody on."

Montero and Arrieta did talk later, and the pitcher said he understood.

"I love Miggy," Arrieta said. "As you guys know, he'll say some things from the heart and he's open and honest. That's the way Miggy is. I think he regretted what he said, he felt bad about it. I told him I'm not upset or mad at him."

The Cubs promoted catcher Willson Contreras last June from Triple-A Iowa and Montero became the backup. This season, Contreras, 25, is batting .254 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs. He's thrown out 18 of 53 basestealers (34 percent).

In 2 1/2 seasons with the Cubs, Montero batted .242, and even pitched in a game in 2016 and this year.

"I've heard some good things about him," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He can swing the bat. We'll see. He's a good veteran. Left-handed bat ... Maybe he'll generate some offense, we're hoping."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Chicago Cubs