Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Astros acquire Martin Maldonado from the Cubs for hug-guru Tony Kemp

We finally found out the fate of recently DFA Tony Kemp. He was acquired by the Chicago Cubs for Martin Maldonado, per Ken Rosenthal. There are so many feels here I don't know where to start.

Kemp, a fan favorite, was recently DFA after Carlos Correa was activated from the IL. The Astros made the decision to keep Myles Straw over the out-of-options Kemp. He'll go to Chicago where I'm sure we'll get to see highlights of him hugging the likes of Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant on a regular basis. Good for him!

On the Astros side, for the second straight year the Astros acquire catcher Maldonado. Astros pitchers loved throwing to Maldonado last year, according to Bob Nightengale.

Some might wonder why the Astros didn't resign Maldonado last year. There was certainly interest. Ultimately, the Astros went with Robinson Chirinos because of Maldonado's asking price. He eventually signed with the Kansas City Royals who then traded him to the Cubs on July 15th.

This likely means Max Stassi is out as the backup catcher. A good defensive backstop and framer, Stassi has failed to produce offensively. He has a 21 OPS+ in 98 PA. Maldonado is an offensive upgrade with a 67 OPS+ in 249 PA, while also keep similar defensive and framing value.