May. 30, 2016
Brewers Trade Maldonado
In somewhat of a puzzling move at first glance, the Brewers traded away longtime backup catcher Martin Maldonado and a pitching prospect to the Los Angeles Angels for catcher Jett Bandy. It's relatively early still, so the pitching prospect is not known at this time, but Bandy had a relatively solid season behind the plate for the Angels. He hit .234 with 8 HR and 25 RBI in 209 at bats, so not bad power by any means. I'm guessing the Brewers wanted an offensive upgrade, because it's hard to imagine too many available catchers playing better defense than Maldonado. Also, Maldonado is arbitration eligible and is due for a raise, where Bandy still has five years left of team control, and two without arbitration.
What this means for the Brewers now is that they have cleared a path for prospect Jacob Nottingham, who played well in AA Biloxi last season. It also means that there will be a three way battle for the starting catching role between Bandy, Andrew Susac and Manny Pina. All catchers listed have been acquired by Stearns via trade (Khris Davis, Maldonado, Will Smith and Francisco Rodriguez, in order of catchers listed) and all should have a shot at playing time. My money is on Bandy, as he is the only catcher to not come with other prospects, or to still be considered a prospect.