Padres trade Caratini to Crew for OF prospect, catcher

April 6th, 2022

PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Padres dealt from their excess of catchers on Wednesday, sending Victor Caratini to Milwaukee in exchange for a pair of Minor Leaguers.

San Diego received 28-year-old catcher Brett Sullivan and 23-year-old outfielder Korry Howell in return for Caratini, who had spent one season with the Padres after arriving alongside Yu Darvish in a 2020 trade with the Cubs.

Full trade details:
Padres get: C Brett Sullivan, OF Korry Howell
Brewers get: C Victor Caratini, cash considerations

Caratini spent the 2021 season as Darvish's personal catcher, behind the plate for all 32 of his starts. But the Padres had varied Darvish's catchers this spring, with an eye on a bit more flexibility this season. Now, it seems likely that Austin Nola will be behind the plate for Darvish on Opening Day.

Behind Nola, Jorge Alfaro now seems like a lock for the roster as the team's backup catcher. Alfaro posted an outstanding spring, slashing .417/.462/1.000 with four home runs. The trade might also open the door for No. 3-ranked prospect Luis Campusano to make the roster as the team's third backstop.

Sullivan is another option. He's a converted catcher, and the Padres like his athleticism behind the dish. He owns a .271/.317/.426 slash line across six Minor League seasons in the Rays organization, including last year at Triple-A Durham.

As for Howell, he was the Brewers' No. 17 overall prospect prior to the deal. He split last season between High-A and Double-A with a combined .805 OPS.

For the Padres, it’s a solid return for a catcher whose playing time seemingly diminished every time Alfaro or Campusano came to the plate this spring.

Ultimately, Caratini's tenure in San Diego was short-lived. But he played a part in a pair of very memorable moments. Last June, he was behind the plate as Joe Musgrove threw the first no-hitter in franchise history. Two months later, in Petco Park's first game back at full capacity, he hit a walk-off two run home run to beat the Reds.