The Astros have acquired catcher Martin Maldonado from the Cubs, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. Outfielder/second baseman Tony Kemp is going to Chicago in return, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle.
This is the second trade of the month for Maldonado, whose Cubs tenure was fleeting. They acquired Maldonado from the Royals for left-hander Mike Montgomery on July 15. At the time, the Cubs had just lost their starting catcher, Willson Contreras, to the injured list. He quickly returned, though, making Maldonado a superfluous piece for a team that already had the capable Victor Caratini as its reserve backstop.
The Astros reportedly pursued Maldonado before his trade to the Cubs, and he’ll now head to Houston for the second straight year. The club previously acquired Maldonado from the Angels last July. Maldonado now figures to supplant Max Stassi, who’s out of options and could now be on his way to a trade or a designation for assignment, as Robinson Chirinos’ backup. Stassi’s a quality defender who hasn’t hit this year, which doesn’t make him much different than the 32-year-old Maldonado. However, even Maldonado’s paltry .217/.285/.349 line easily outdoes Stassi’s .167/.235/.211 showing.
Maldonado, who’s earning the balance of a $2.5MM salary, will be a free agent at season’s end. Kemp, on the other hand, could be a multiyear piece for the Cubs. Kemp won’t be eligible for arbitration until after next season, though the Cubs won’t have the option of sending him to the minors without subjecting him to waivers. The 27-year-old’s time in Houston came to an end when it designated him on July 25.
Kemp, to his credit, had been amid his second straight useful offensive campaign before the Astros booted him from their roster. He has slashed .227/.308/.417 with seven home runs, four steals and a terrific 15.6 percent strikeout rate across 186 plate appearances this year, also logging 25-plus appearances at second and in the outfield.
The Cubs had been seeking help at second and in the outfield prior to this trade. Whether Kemp will be enough to satisfy those needs remains to be seen. The club could acquire further help at either position in the next few hours, but it does expect to get second baseman/outfielder Ben Zobrist back from the restricted list later in the season.
Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Don’t get hurt, Willson and Victor!
On 2nd thought, Kyle’s got your back.
It’s easy to forget he was a catcher
Evidently a better LF than catcher.
So what does that tell you?
That he’s a better emergency catcher than Beef Castillo.
Funny the way it is
Big deal. Not.
Why are so negative
Look at the name. Clearly obvious.
He (or she) is lonely. Chances are they are in a state of arrested development, or simply are a teenager. Most likely attempts to exert power on message boards because they are probably completely powerless in their real life. Works a dead end job and answers to someone he/she doesn’t like.. May also be unemployed due to how much time they have to devote to commenting on Cubs articles. Divorced or unhappy marriage. Blames the outside world for their unhappiness and life situation and takes their misery out on everyone else. Etc. Etc. Etc.
Very articulate argument for a cubs fan. I was incredibly surprised he was able to get through it with out saying go cubs go or let’s play 2. Worst fan base in baseball.
Haha, I still can’t believe White Sux trolls are actually a thing. It would be comical if it weren’t so damn pathetic and transparent. I mean who can blame them for being obsessed with anything Cubs. Of course they pounce on anything that mentions the Cubs, even a small move like this. Anything to avoid the clown college on the south side. Been “rebuilding” since 2011 with one of the worst records in all of baseball since then.
As they finish up year 8 of the rebuild, they still can’t draft, still can’t convince star free agents to sign there, still can’t develop… yep, I would be obsessing about another team too if I were them. Haha
While his initial troll comment is useless and unnecessary, so is your’s along with your’s being factually inaccurate.
Big Troll. YES!!
Leave him be, trolling the Cubs on a trade rumors site is the only thing he’s got going for him
If that qualifies as a big troll, I’d hate to see a real one.
Hey, ChiSox_fan. Is it true your Mom and Dad received an apology letter from the condom factory??? Worry about that continued mess of your rebuild that’s never going to come to fruition…
Hey bucknerking. Did your mom get an apology from Jackson Pollock for that paint job I gave her. Rebuild coming along just fine. Stay in your lane little boy.
Cubs so busy trading same player back and forth that they aren’t getting anything substantial done.
Losers again last night. Really ought to look for a new closer. Someone successful like Colome.
I don’t care what the FIP stats say, Colome has only blown 1 save all season long. A real competitor. 21/22
Meanwhile Cubs spend $14 mil per year on Kimbrel! $43 mil! Ha!
All of baseball laughing at the Cubs. Kimbrel 0-2, 2 BS, 6.75 ERA. For $43 mil. Cubs bullpen and budget handcuffed for next 2-3 years.
I agree with ChiSox. He (or she) makes a lot of good points, especially when he (or she) points out that Kimbrel has had a short season and it would be absurd to generalize / project his performance thus far over the life of his contract. Good point, Chi! He’s (or she’s) also right that it’s not a closer we need, but probably a solid 8th inning guy who can hand the game over the Kimbrel. Starting to make some good points!
Colome would be a nice add. Still not sure why they traded away a cost controlled catcher who is hitting 300 with 16 HR’s for 2 years of Colome though, especially since they won’t be competing during those years. Seems odd, like a Mets-esque deal.
As a White Sox fan, you really should care what the stats say. Seeing as how the competitive window should be wide open in 2021, coupled with the depth of talent in the Sox minor league system, and the fact that the White Sox have shown the consistent ability to develop pitchers; those facts should make you want Hahn to flip Colome for prospects.
That didn’t last long. Contreras must not be far away.
he’s been playing since last Thursday
Uh… Contreras is already back
I hope Maldonado didn’t sign a lease
Probably the start and end
hope you’re wrong there, but it’s possible they’d packaged kemp+tucker or beer on a pitcher deal that didn’t pan out…
Great defensive pickup again
Lol this dude is gonna get whiplash with how quickly he’s being bounced around right now.
This should become annual thing? Maldonado gets traded every deadline
To the Astros 2 years in a row, no less.
Probably for Tony Kemp?
That’s what it says… yes.
I assume he tried to make that look like he guessed it. It was a failure.
It wasn’t stated as such when I posted. Sorry it bothered you
Mmhmm…..The time of the most recent edit was before your comment…….but what does time and math mean as long as you can look baseball smart.
Not sure how internet posting delays on this site work, but ok, you win, I’m an idiot. Have a great day
I think most people knew this was coming soon.
Is Tony Kemp any good.
Yes. He’s solid, great dugout guy. No room in Houston but he’s a good get for the Cubs.
Multi-position player is alawys good. can play 2b and OF with some D and can hit RHP. A good bench player.
“Solid, great dugout guy” in other words not so good. Defense first, with speed, but teams can knock the bat out of the guy’s hand. Nice compliment to Almora, but not an impact bat.
The Cubs got him for Maldonado. He’s not gonna be Babe Ruth. Kemp can hit RH pitching pretty well and he’s got good speed. He’s a solid defender but always a bench guy for Houston. He’s not going to the all star game any time soon but he’s a solid player.
^ yes, all of this ^
character doesn’t win games though, and the ‘stros already have decent utility. cubs fans should be glad to pick him up…we’ll miss him in houston for sure.
edit: that was intended as a reply to @OrangeCrushCity. i disagree with @spudchukar’s “not so good” assessment 🙂
I stand by the not so good assessment. He is fast, but not a good base stealer. Lifetime .697 OPS. Barely better this year. OK move for the cash strapped Cubbies, but again not the impact bat they need.
Tom E. Snyder
Congratulations to Tony Kemp.
Yeah congrats you just got traded to a way worse team
Better than playing in the minors
A baseball trade. My 25th guy for your 25th guy.
Ryan The Riot Theriot
Kemp was almost immediately linked to the Cubs at the time of his DFA. His statline this year doesn’t look great, but his BABIP is well below what one would expect for a guy with his speed. I like the move for both teams, as the Astros have been a fan of Maldonado for a long time and it gives the Cubs some outfield and infield depth.
Oh no. This is terrible. I don’t know why Maldonado has such a good defensive reputation. I’ve lost count of the number of balls he allows to hit the backstop. Bad bad pickup.
known for pitch framing, and his arm everything else sucks.
This is a great little move by the Cubs. I said last week they should go get Jarrod Dyson, but this also works.
So Montgomery for Kemp? Eh..
Like I said. Big deal. Not
Thank you. And that’s a poor trade. Basically, your guys is DFA’d so why not? I’d rather have Maldonado. He woulda made our staff better than Contreras does. He turns strikes into balls. MM turns balls into strikes.
MM rates below average in pitch framing rhe past two years. His defense has to do with keeping balls in front of him … which, for whatever it’s worth, would’ve been useful last night.
except with the 2 catchers they already have on the roster he won’t ever play, maybe once a week
The problem is Maldonado cant hit a lick. one time on base. 2 pass balls and 2 errors. That was in 4 games. He’s highly overrated. Contreas is one of if not the best catcher in baseball
Is this one of those my DFA for your DFA kind of trades?
always been a fan of Kemp, no room for him in Houston
Now, time for more pitching.
So Kemp for Monty?
Poor execution by the FO…. again
who’s FO? cubs traded a struggling pitcher for a utility player that can play anywhere
Ryan The Riot Theriot
Monty had a good run with the Cubs, but he has been downright awful this year and a raise in salary is pretty certain, despite his struggles this season. The Cubs have some upper minor depth and Holland could be used as a 6th or 7th starter if need be. All in all, it’s not a horrible move for the Cubs, as they filled Monty’s vacancy and got a decent OF/If bench piece.
When HOU DFA’s Stassi, maybe CHC will claim him?
Its of very little consequence if they do.
Cubs will trade Kemp for him. Nothing else going on.
Astros should have sought Vogt, who’s quietly having a solid season.
Dang, was hoping the O’s could’ve traded Villar to the Cubs.
How is a .227 batting average a useful offensive campaign? Seems like the kind of bat you try to replace.
I like the writer’s positive insinuation that there is a trade market for Max Stasi! I hope he’s right, but I’m afraid he’s nothing more than a placement on waivers….and with young guys in the minors, probably an outright release if he does clear waivers. Wish you well Max Stassi, thanks for your service time on my favorite team!
Tom E. Snyder
With Kemp: Hugs for Homers.
Martin, I hope you didn’t burn bridges with your Houston real estate agent.
I’ve always liked Kemp from afar but he obviously won’t shift the needle in the Cubs favor alone. That said….Anybody, and I mean ANYBODY, is better then what the Cubs have run out there this year in the lead-off spot. Joe desperately needs that “toy” taken away from him. There is nothing scarier to me then when Joe says he is “intrigued” by something, i.e. Kyle Schwarber as a lead-off hitter.
Agree. By October, Joe will be intrigued by looking for new employment or be just as intrigued by driving around in his motorhome.
I was hoping a better bat. Still 2 1/2 hours to go.
Kemp can lead off can’t he? We have been missing a true leadoff since 17
So long, Kempin’ ain’t easy.
Wow, Tony Kemp.
He must be one helluva player… Not! This is pretty much acceptance by the cubs that they ARE not in a pennant race (losing road record, no offense, bullpen is a joke). They should be sellers right now, but nope. You’ll get the same tired roster coming back next year, too.
You’re such a joke it’s not even funny.
dude stop. you’re making us white Sox fans look bad.
The Cubs window is now. They aren’t good enough to win it all as constructed. Tinkering around the edges isn’t going to get it done. They need to make some significant moves.
Salient point. And honestly this is just an organizational/depth move so it’s not as if this signals anything really. They’re at a breaking point right now. They have the vast bulk of their organizational talent at the major league level and their draft picks have no longer been shooting fish in a barrel like the Bryant/Contreras/Baez days. They don’t have a lot in the minors to trade for a star without emptying it, they don’t have much in the way of impact players in the minors to plug in, and they have too much money tied up in the way of massive contracts in the majors to lure anyone in. I don’t really know exactly what they can do.
Works for me. I think the Cubs win this one because Kemp helps them more and for many more years, but the Astros get a useful piece for a guy that didn’t have a spot.
I hope Stassi clears waivers. Nice insurance.
Good move for both teams. Kemp has a place in the big leagues.
No reason to get excited about this trade.
Would have loved Maldonado for the Phillies. Andrew Knapp is beyond dreadful and Realmuto needs to be able to get some rest before he burns out..
Cub fans will love him he is like the players the love the most dascenzo Theriot short guys who can’t hit
Thought Cubs need help against Leftys? Cards and Brew crew have been adding south paws so they go and get an OF that bats L. Probably should have road CARGO and least had Gold Glove on the bench. Looking forward to fighting the Reds for 4th.
Nothing against Tony Kemp. Seems like a good all around guy who can play a couple of positions from the previous posts. But he does not help the cause and that’s winning the NL Central. The Cub’s roster seems to be full of mediocre/or below,versatile players who just don’t seem good enough to nail down a consistent spot on the field (Bote, Descalso, Happ, Almora, Garcia). Maybe this move leads to Decalso’s DFA.
Tony Kemp is the sort of situational contact hitter the team has been lacking since trading Tommy LaStella in the off-season. He will be given a chance to play here in Chicago since second and center field are the positions where the team doesn’t have a locked in regular starter. He was blocked in Houston by two of the better players in baseball at their position. At the very least he helps balance the team and gives Maddon more late inning options for running and defense.
Cubs may wish they kept Maldonado if Contreras injury is serious.