With the MLB trade deadline approaching, rumors are intensifying about possible fits for contenders. On Tuesday night, an ESPN analyst suggested a name that hasn't been popping up often in the rumors: A.J. Ellis. The backup catcher is clearly in the twilight of his career. But he is of little use to the Miami Marlins right now. He could be a much greater asset for a team like the Chicago Cubs down the stretch run of the season.

Putting Ellis on the move

ESPN's Buster Olney suggested the link between player and team on Tuesday night, via his Twitter page. Right now, Ellis is toiling on a team that could potentially be on the verge of a fire sale (and an actual sale) over the course of the next seven days.

He's having a relatively anonymous season by any standard. He's hitting just .232 in 82 at-bats, driving in just five runs on the year. So why would the Cubs need him?

For starters, he can provide a wealth of veteran experience to a team that needs a good kick in the rear right now. The Cubs haven't really gotten their act together until recently and could use another veteran to bring them along. Ellis has played for good Los Angeles Dodgers teams, but has never reached the apex of the MLB, so he'll have a lot of motivation to come in and contribute. Additionally, the team could use some experienced depth behind Willson Contreras. He's been raking since the All-Star break, but the catcher lacks a veteran mentor after the dismissal of Miguel Montero.

Other catchers for the Cubs

If the Cubs are going to look at Ellis, they may as well look for a bevy of backup catchers on the trade market. One potential option could be Rene Rivera of the New York Mets, a team destined to be sellers for the next few days. He's hitting .245 with six home runs and 20 RBIs in a primarily backup role this season.

With Travis d'Arnaud starting, Rivera is an expendable player for the Mets.

There are other rental options on the trade market as well. Atlanta Braves catcher Kurt Suzuki has been solid a behind the plate. San Francisco Giants catcher Nick Hundley has been struggling from behind the plate, but he's still a veteran option.

Alex Avila has also had somewhat of a breakout campaign for the Detroit Tigers. There are plenty of options there for the taking for the Cubs. It's really just a question of who the team believes will get them over the edge, back on top of the NL Central, and back in contention for another World Series title.

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