Royals trade catcher Martin Maldonado to Cubs for pitcher Mike Montgomery

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Mike Montgomery in a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Friday, June 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WIBW) - The Royals are bringing back a familiar face for the mound.

On Monday night, Kansas City announced a trade to send catcher Martin Maldonado to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for pitcher Mike Montgomery. Kansas City originally drafted Montgomery in the Compensation Round at 36th overall in 2008. He pitched in the Royals' organization until the club traded him to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012 to acquire James Shields and Wade Davis.

Montgomery has spent more than three seasons with the Cubs. This year, the 30-year-old has an ERA of 5.67 over 20 relief appearances. He's thrown 27 innings and has a record of 1-2.

His peak in Chicago came in 2017, when he recorded career highs in wins (7), saves (3), innings (130.2) and strikeouts (100), while pitching to a 3.38 ERA. Montgomery recorded the final out of the 2016 World Series, which saw the Cubs win their first title in 108 years.

This season has been the only one with the Royals for Maldonado. He signed with the team as a free agent on March 11. Maldonado batted .227 with 15 doubles, six homers and 17 RBI, while appearing in 74 games behind the plate.

With this move, Royals general manager reportedly said Montgomery will start against the Cleveland Indians. According to multiple outlets, Moore added the club will be promoting catcher Meibrys Viloria to replace Maldonado.

Viloria is a 22-year-old who's been with Double-A Northwest Arkansas this season. The Colombia native is batting .264 with one home run and 24 RBI in 2019, but he's hit 24 home runs in six minor-league seasons. He's also struck out 60 times in 248 plate appearances this year.

Defensively, Viloria has thrown out 17 runners while allowing 41 stolen bases this season.