Maldonado nearing vesting option as deadline looms

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - JULY 26: Martin Maldonado #15 of the Houston Astros looks on before the game against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum on July 26, 2022 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) (Lachlan Cunningham, 2022 Lachlan Cunningham)

The Houston Astros have interest in multiple catchers at the trade deadline, according to various league sources.

Houston’s current starting catcher, Martin Maldonado has been one of the best defensive catchers in MLB over the past few season but offers little with the bat.

One league source told KPRC 2 that the Astros are unlikely to make big upgrades at both 1st base and catcher, partially due to the lack of prospect capital to swing trades for both Nationals 1B and Cubs C Willson Contreras.

However, Houston’s interest in catchers is likely limited to rentals like Contreras (if they go big) or Detroit Tigers catcher Tucker Barnhart.

They are more likely to trade for a rental due to Maldonado’s vesting option. Maldonado’s contract has a vesting option at 90 games for 2022, which would pay him $5 million in 2023 if he hits that number. Maldonado played his 77th game on Sunday for 2022, and there’s been every indication the Astros are supportive of Maldonado’s contract vesting.


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