The Astros, who acquired Hank Conger in November and have catching depth with Jason Castro, Max Stassi, Tyler Heineman and Jacob Nottingham, traded Carlos Corporan to the Rangers for righthander Akeem Bostick.
Corporan, who turned 31 on Jan. 7, was considered a clubhouse leader for a young Astros team that is in transition with deals for Conger, Luis Valbuena and Evan Gattis, and the free agent signings of Jed Lowrie, Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek.
"I'm very sad," Corporan told Baseball America correspondent Jose de Jesus Ortiz. "Houston was a big part of my life. I really liked what (general manager) Jeff (Luhnow) is doing.
"But this is a new beginning, a huge chance for me. I'm going to do what I do and try to help them win, but it's hard to say bye to Houston."
Corporan was designated for assignment on Tuesday after the Astros announced the signing of outfielder Colby Rasmus. Generally, BA eschews analyzing trades involving players who were designated for assignment because of the lack of leverage on one side, but the exchange involved an intriguing prospect in Bostick.
Bostick, who’ll turn 20 in May, fell off the Rangers’ top 30 prospects list entering 2015 after ranking No. 11 entering 2014.
Carlos Corporan, c
Corporan has spent the past two seasons with the Astros, sharing time with Castro. But the Astros have depth at catcher and in fact used some of it in Carlos Perez in acquiring Conger in November, rendering Corporan expendable. With the Rangers, Corporan, who’s set to earn $975,000 in 2015 with two more years of team control, will at least split duties with Robinson Chirinos. The Rangers lack depth behind the plate, with No. 3 prospect Jorge Alfaro only reaching Double-A in 2015 and No. 26 prospect Tomas Telis, who made it to Texas at the end of 2014 and now likely will begin 2015 at Triple-A.
Corporan is considered an average to tick below receiver and threw out only 7 of 32 runners attempting to steal in 2014. With Corporan catching, the Astros had 23 wild pitches in 431 2/3 innings, while they had 32 wild pitches in 1,007 innings with other backstops.
A switch-hitter, Corporan has an aggressive approach at the plate, especially against fastballs, and has flashed solid power in the past.
Akeem Bostick, rhp
The Rangers grabbed Bostick out of a South Carolina high school in the second round of the 2013 draft, rolling the dice on his tall, projectable frame and outstanding athleticism that runs in his family (his cousin is Green Bay Packers tight end Brandon Bostick, infamous for not securing the onside kick in the NFC Championship Game loss to Seattle). That athleticism helps Bostick repeat a sound, balanced delivery and throw strikes with downhill plane into the lower end of the strike zone with a fastball that parks at 88-93 mph and can scrape a couple ticks higher. Bostick's changeup has flashed average, and it's a pitch that improved during the second half of the season when the Rangers forced him to throw it more frequently in games. The biggest red flag for Bostick is his lack of a reliable breaking ball. He throws a slurvy 73-76 mph curveball that grades out as a below-average pitch, and it's one of the reasons he doesn't miss many bats, with just 6.2 strikeouts per nine innings last year, and he was hit hard in his first full season even though he was mostly around the strike zone. If Bostick can improve his secondary arsenal to stay away from more barrels, he could develop into a back-end starter.
— Ben Badler