Astros sign Maldonado to two-year deal

Gold Glove-winning catcher returns to Houston; Omar Lopez promoted to Major League staff

December 23rd, 2019

HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros have signed free agent catcher Martín Maldonado to a two-year contract for the 2020-21 seasons. The announcement was made by Astros President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jeff Luhnow.

Maldonado, 33, has been a guiding force for the Astros pitching staff in each of their last two postseason runs after joining the club in July via trade in both 2018 and 2019. Over the last two seasons, Astros pitchers have posted a 3.27 ERA in 68 regular season games with Maldonado behind the plate. The right-handed hitter has batted .219 with 10 homers and a .427 slugging percentage in the regular season with Houston. He has made 12 postseason starts with the Astros, which is tied for the third-most by a catcher in Astros franchise history behind Brad Ausmus (30) and Brian McCann (19).

A veteran of nine Major League seasons and 717 games played, Maldonado is widely regarded as one of the top defensive catchers in the game. In 2017, he won a Rawlings Gold Glove Award after throwing out more runners attempting to steal than any other American League catcher (29). Since making his MLB debut in 2012, Maldonado has posted the sixth-best caught stealing percentage among all Major League catchers (32.3%, 103CS/319ATT).

With the addition of Maldonado, the Astros 40-man roster stands at 40 players.

Additionally, the Astros announced today the promotion of Omar Lopez to the Major League coaching staff, as he will fill the first base coach position left vacant by Don Kelly, who was named bench coach of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Lopez is entering his 22nd season working for the Astros, and has spent the last 12 years serving as a manger in Houston’s minor league system. He most recently served as manager at Double A Corpus Christi, where he was named Texas League Manager of the Year in 2018. In 2013, Lopez led the Class A Quad Cities River Bandits to a Midwest League Championship title. During the 2014-15 offseason, Lopez was named Manager of the Year in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League after leading Caribes de Anzoategui to a championship title.