Astros News

Astros: The Martin Maldonado Saga is Over

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HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 18: Martin Maldonado #15 of the Houston Astros warms up before the game against the Boston Red Sox during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 18, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 18: Martin Maldonado #15 of the Houston Astros warms up before the game against the Boston Red Sox during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 18, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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If the Astros have a weakness, it would be at the catching position.

To be fair, fans may be underestimating what Robinson Chirinos can offer offensively. The questions surrounding him would be about his defense, but he should complement well with the defensive skills of Max Stassi. While Stassi’s defense is great, he was an offensive liability after the hot start in 2018. As of now, that appears to be the Astros catching crew.

Garrett Stubbs is the next man up, but he was optioned to Triple-A camp yesterday, according to Brian McTaggart. With about 18 days left before opening day, it is shocking that the team has only two catchers in camp. But they are free to use the minor league catchers during spring training games. Jamie Ritchie played in yesterday’s game.

Did they have an interest in Maldonado?

Stassi is out of options, so their backup plan was probably to give him a shot to start the season. That was assuming they went out and got a player like Chirinos. They did have some interests in bringing back Martin Maldonado according to rumors. Buster Olney tweeted that Maldonado turned down a two-year deal from the Astros at the start of the offseason.

Ken Rosenthal later tweeted that Maldonado turned down a two-year, $12 million deal from the Astros. If that was true, you have to wonder why Maldonado turned that deal down. Especially after he signed a one-year deal for $2.5 million with the Royals, it doesn’t take a genius to see the problem. His agent was Scott Boras. As we have seen with Dallas Keuchel, Boras has not adjusted to the current free agent market.

Maldonado switched agents to get a deal done. When the Royals lost Salvador Perez for the entire season, Maldonado was a perfect fit. If those rumors were true, Maldonado was hurt financially and playing for a World Series contender. Maybe some players will realize that having Boras as an agent is not the best plan.

Boras did strike back against the rumors with an announcement according to Jon Heyman. He said that the Astros never made a formal offer to his client, but they were talking around those numbers. Maldonado never said no, and the Astros moved on to Chirinos.

Next. Astros: Health update midway through the Spring schedule. dark

No matter what the truth was, Maldonado would have been an upgrade over Stassi. The Astros have a great team that would have been better with Maldonado, but maybe we see a different Stassi this year. Stubbs will be ready, and they can always make a trade in July. The Royals needed Maldonado more, and we wish him good luck.

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