In case you haven't already heard, the Cubs have sent their deranged catcher, the freakishly strong white guy in the picture bieng restrained by someone only known as "Master," to the San Diego Padres in exchange for some two-bit knucklehead catcher named Rob Bowen and another 19 year-old Single A OF named Kyler Burke. If that name sounds like a girl's name...well, it is. But, Kyler is a dude, but he's hitting a girl-like .211 with 1 HR and 22 RBI in 213 AB for his former Fort Wayne affiliate. I'd say the Cubs should have traded for Kyler's twin and much hotter sister, Skyler Burke, and they might end up with a better return. Wink, wink.
Anyhow, Rob Bowen is a switch hitter with the potential to maintain a .260 average and hit 10 HR and maybe muster 40-50 RBI in a season. He's not the answer at catcher, but he'll be a capable backup for the Cubs once they address their catcher need via the trade deadline this year or in free agency next year.
A lot of people hated on Michael Barrett for being a bit of a vegetable behind the plate, but what he lacked in defense (and, it was a lot), he sorta-kinda made up for it at the plate. He averaged about a .280 line with 16 HR for the Cubs in this 2.5 years with the ballclub. I, for one, didn't mind his poor defense behind the plate because he was a solid hitter. But, this year, he couldn't overshadow his defense by punching people and that ultimately lead to his demise in Chicago. I hope that when he returns to Wrigley in the future, he gets slightly mediocre standing ovation, because that's what he deserves. Not boos...not wet-yourself adulation...but just the mere "yeah, he did what he could and really liked being in Chicago" appreciation. Mike worked hard, really wanted to be good behind the plate, was well liked by his teammates, even after punching them, and loved the fans at Wrigley. To a man, he'll be slightly missed.
He's best known for punching A. J. Eyechart in the face last year and he became an instant phenomenon among the Cub faithful. I don't think the Cubs made a bad move trading him away, as he'll be a free agent at year's end and the Cubs had no intentions of resigning him. But, selling this low may not have been the right move. Anyhow, they get another backup in Bowen, and given that Hank White's neck is giving him problems this year, it looks like the Cubs will have to search for a surefire starter...and soon.
Good luck, Mike...take it easy on the West, huh? They're kinda soft over there.
Props to Wrigleyville23 for giving me a mention on his site.