The Houston Astros made a move to shore up their defense behind the plate by trading within their own division.
Houston has agreed to acquire catcher Martin Maldonado from the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, a source told ESPN, confirming multiple reports. Maldonado was the 2017 Gold Glove winner at catcher for the American League.
The Angels, who trail the first-place Astros by 15 1/2 games in the AL West standings, will receive a prospect in the deal.
This year he leads all MLB catchers with a .444 caught-stealing percentage, catching 12 of the 27 base stealers this season. His .994 fielding percentage is ranked fifth in baseball.
Offensively, the 31-year-old Maldonado is hitting .223 with five home runs and 32 RBIs this season.
He will be a free agent at the end of this season.
The Astros have been without starting catcher Brian McCann, who has been sidelined after having surgery on his right knee earlier this month. Max Stassi has been seeing the bulk of the time at catcher during McCann’s absence.
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