This is big news. First reported by Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register:
The #Angels are trading C Martin Maldonado to the Houston Astros. Return TBA. More to come on this story.— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) July 26, 2018
The Angels, who are 10.5 game back for a wild card spot saw value in moving Maldonado who will become a free agent after this season is over.
This move would probably put Jose Briceno in the primary catcher role. Briceno is slashing .261/.277/.413 and has a 40% caught stealing rate. Pending any other major changes, the Angels should be adding either Francisco Arcia or Joe Hudson to the big league roster as they are the only 2 catchers currently in AAA.
A short while after the initial announcement, Fletcher tweeted the return:
The Angels are getting LHP Patrick Sandoval, 21. He has a career 3.88 ERA in the minors. 11th-round pick in 2015. He’s in A ball.— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) July 26, 2018
The Angels also got $250K in international pool money in the deal.
Sandoval played ball in Mission Viejo so I’m sure he’s happy about the trade.
Patrick Sandoval, LHP – Like almost every pitching prospect in this system, Sandoval can really spin a breaking ball (two, actually) and his fastball plays best up at the letters. He has a high-effort delivery and below-average command of an average fastball, but both of his breaking balls are 55s. That will play in relief. Sandoval’s changeup and control both have a chance to mature in the 45/50 range, so he has a shot to grow into a more substantial big-league role than just a lefty relief piece, but that’s his most likely outcome. He signed for $900,000 as an 11th-rounder in 2016.
Perhaps the even bigger question - are there more trades on the horizon? Well done Billy.