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Astros bring back Maldonado, deal Stassi

@brianmctaggart
July 31, 2019

CLEVELAND -- The Astros bolstered their catching depth on Wednesday by re-acquiring Martín Maldonado from the Cubs in exchange for infielder/outfielder Tony Kemp. They also dealt backstop Max Stassi to the Angels for outfielders Rainier Rivas and Raider Uceta. The strong-armed Maldonado, 32, played for the Astros last year and

CLEVELAND -- The Astros bolstered their catching depth on Wednesday by re-acquiring Martín Maldonado from the Cubs in exchange for infielder/outfielder Tony Kemp. They also dealt backstop Max Stassi to the Angels for outfielders Rainier Rivas and Raider Uceta.

The strong-armed Maldonado, 32, played for the Astros last year and hit .231 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 41 games after coming over from the Angels in a trade. He started six of the seven games he played in the playoffs for the Astros last year.

The trade means the Astros will likely use a platoon at catcher the rest of the season with veterans Maldonado and Robinson Chirinos, who’s slashing .237/.363/.447 with 13 homers and 41 RBIs as the primary starter. Stassi was the backup catcher, hitting .167 in 31 games.

This is the second time Maldonado has been traded this month, going from the Royals to the Cubs on July 15. In 78 games between the Cubs and Royals this season, Maldonado was hitting .217 with 17 RBIs, but this is an acquisition for his defense and his arm.

Kemp was designated for assignment by the Astros on July 25 and was slashing .227/.308/.417 with seven homers and 17 RBIs.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.