Astros Trade Catcher Max Stassi To Angels For Two Prospects
Shortly after acquiring Martin Maldonado to be their new backup, the Astros traded Max Stassi to the Angels for prospects Raider Uceta and Rainier Rivas on Wednesday afternoon.
Stassi joins and Angels team in dire need of catchers with Jonathan Lucroy on the injured list and Kevan Smith nursing a toe injury. Dustin Garneau was their only healthy catcher.
Max Stassi, C
Stassi earned his first significant playing time last year and settled into a backup role for the Astros over the last two seasons. He is a well below-average hitter with some occasional pop. The strength of his game is his excellent pitch framing, although advanced metrics are mixed on his defense overall. Stassi has thrown out just 15 percent of baserunners this year. He will be arbitration-eligible for the first time after the season.
Raider Uceta, OF
Uceta signed with the Angels for $500,000 in 2017. He is a physical, thick-framed lefthanded hitter who projects to grow into power, although he is still learning to hunt for the right pitches to drive. He has a balanced swing with plenty of bat speed. Uceta is already heavier than his listed weight of 215 pounds and projects to move to first-base long term.
Rainier Rivas, OF
Another physical, lefthanded hitter, Rivas signed for $200,000 out of Venezuela in 2017 and made his stateside debut this year. A sizable 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, Rivas has plenty of natural lift and power in his swing and a patient approach. He walked more than he struck out in the Dominican Summer League this year before moving to the Rookie-level Arizona League earlier this month. Rivas is a below-average runner and will have to watch his fitness to avoid a move to first base. He has a strong enough arm to potentially play right field.