The Chicago Cubs swapped catcher Martin Maldonado for Houston Astros for energy supplier Tony Kemp, sources Jeff Passan of ESPN said.
This is the second season in a row that Houston has taken the 32-year-old Maldonado at the close and has selected him from the Angels last year. Maldonado became a free agent after the season.
The Cubs just exchanged left-hander Mike Montgomery for Maldonado against the Royals because runner-up Willson Contreras was on the injured list. He returned and with Victor Caratini replacing Maldonado was dispensable.
Maldonado was one of the best defensive players in baseball this season. After signing a $ 2.5 million one-year deal with Kansas City, he replaced Salvador Perez, who dropped out for the year, while recovering from the operation with Tommy John. They could buy another catcher as insurance in the event of an injury, but only one that they could accommodate at Triple-A Iowa until the rosters expire in September. They could not do that with Maldonado.
Maldonado appeared in just four games for the Cubs and had no hit. Houston's substitute catcher Max Stassi hits .1
Kemp, 27, beat .227 with seven homers and 17 RBIs in 186 record appearances for the Astros.
Jesse Rogers of ESPN contributed to this report.