The Angels and Brewers swapped backup catchers on Tuesday, with Jett Bandy
going to Milwaukee for Martin Maldonado
and righthander Drew Gagnon
For the Brewers, the deal was about getting a younger, cheaper backup, as Maldonado is eligible for salary arbitration, while Bandy won't be arbitration eligible until 2019.
Maldonado, according to Angels general manager Billy Eppler, figures to see the bulk of playing time for Los Angeles in 2017.
“We see him as above-average across the board,” Eppler told reporters.
A 31st-round pick out of Arizona in 2011, the sturdy Bandy reached the majors for good—presumably—in 2016 and showed off his best tool, an above average throwing arm. Bandy threw out 37 percent of runners attempting to steal in his 68 games behind the plate, far above the league average of 29 percent. He's more than capable as a defender, and pitchers like throwing to him because of his 6-foot-4 frame and ability to call a good game. As far as pitch framing, Bandy was about average, according to StatCorner
, far below Maldonado. At bat, Bandy shows mostly pull power, but makes a fair amount of contact (16.5 percent strikeout rate) and his low average on ball in play (.234) indicates his batting average could rise with some better luck.
|Salt Lake City (AAA)||.274||.314||.411||95||13||26||7||0||2||21||2||19||2|
|Los Angeles (AL)||.234||.281||.392||209||23||49||9||0||8||25||11||38||1|
Maldonado, originally a 27th-round pick of the Angels out of a high school in Puerto Rico in 2004, was signed by the Brewers in 2007 after he was let go by Los Angeles. Twice rated the best defensive catcher in Milwaukee's system, Maldonado has been Jonathan Lucroy's backup since 2012. Whereas Bandy rates about average as a pitch-framer, Maldonado ranks with the best in the game, with an average of 0.83 extra strike calls per game, per StatCorner
. Possessor of a strong throwing arm, Maldonado caught 35 percent of runners attempting to steal. At bat, he's hampered by a long swing, but does have the power to occasionally hit a ball out, tying a career high with eight homers, although six came at home.
A third-round pick from Long Beach State in 2011, Gagnon ranked four times in the Brewers' Top 30 prospects and was rated as having the best control in the system after the 2012 season. Not overpowering, Gagnon has a fastball that ranges 88-92 mph with good life, but the lack of a plus pitch limits his ceiling. He was moved to the bullpen in 2016.
|Colorado Springs (AAA)||2||1||5.56||31||4||0||55||60||4||21||48||.290|