The Milwaukee Brewers had less than 24 hours left to address their sudden need at catcher if they were going to do it externally. It turns out finding someone to fill the gap from outside the organization is exactly what happened.
The Brewers are reportedly making a trade with the San Diego Padres to acquire catcher Victor Caratini. The news was first reported late Wednesday afternoon by Robert Murray, MLB insider for FanSided.
Shortly thereafter, the move was officially announced by the team, at which point we also learned the cost of the deal. Going to the Padres are catcher Brett Sullivan and outfield prospect Korry Howell.
Of course, as many know by now, the Brewers were pressed into searching for a deal like this because they recently lost their backup catcher Pedro Severino to an 80-game suspension for using an illegal substance. Milwaukee had signed him to a one-year deal as a free agent last offseason.
So, the Brewers addressed the need at catcher by trading for a familiar foe in Victor Caratini.
It’s not surprising that Milwaukee went the trade route to bring in a new catcher. The free agent market was largely bare of any catching candidates. And internally, the Brewers had just prospect Mario Feliciano, who has one game of MLB experience in his career, and Sullivan, who has none, next on the depth chart.
So, they instead went with a trade for Caratini, who many Brewers fans are familiar with as a member of the Chicago Cubs from 2017 to 2020. Prior to last season, he was sent to the Padres in the trade that also sent star pitcher Yu Darvish along with him.
For his career, the switch-hitting Caratini has slashed .242/.321/.355 across 362 games with 22 home runs and 112 RBIs. He has very solid career splits at American Family Field, having slashed .327/.397/.539 in 19 career games there with three of his career home runs and 13 of the RBIs.
It is important to note that as a result of Severino’s suspension, he is now also ineligible for this year’s postseason. So, while his eventual return will create a bit of a temporary log jam at catcher, the Brewers will definitely need Caratini for more than just the first half of the season.
Ultimately, the Brewers didn’t have to give up much to get him. Sullivan was acquired by Milwaukee this offseason and was a bit of an unknown, but Caratini fills an immediate need, not to mention the Crew has other catching prospects in the pipeline.
Howell was starting to make even more of a name for himself in the Brewers minor league system recently and was named the team’s 17th best prospect by MLB Pipeline. Milwaukee is loaded with outfield prospects, though, making Howell expendable.
Want your voice heard? Join the Reviewing The Brew team!
Now, the Brewers’ issue at the catching position has been resolved. With Caratini in place, it’s time to officially move on to Opening Day.