Sunday's MLB: Padres acquire veteran catcher Jason Castro from Angels
Anaheim, Calif. — The San Diego Padres acquired veteran catcher Jason Castro from the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday in a trade for right-handed reliever Gerardo Reyes.
The Padres completed their fourth trade in two days by acquiring Castro as they bolster their roster for their first postseason appearance since 2006. San Diego also added reliever Trevor Rosenthal, slugger Mitch Moreland and catcher Austin Nola over the weekend as the trade deadline approaches Monday.
Castro will be a free agent this winter after agreeing to a $6.85 million, one-year deal with the Angels in January. The 33-year-old batted .192 with two homers and six RBIs over his 18 games with Los Angeles, but the longtime Astros and Twins backstop is a strong defensive catcher and normally a solid hitter who has produced at least 10 homers in six seasons of his career.
San Diego has the NL’s third-best record and second-most victories at 21-15 after beating Colorado on Sunday. Steaming toward the playoffs with a deep, dynamic roster, the Padres are still being aggressive in the trade market as they prepare to compete with the rival Dodgers and the rest of the NL’s best.
San Diego acquired the right-handed Rosenthal from Kansas City on Saturday for two prospects, boosting their bullpen with a closer-caliber arm. The Padres then grabbed Moreland from Boston for two more prospects on Sunday morning, likely shoring up their designated hitter spot with the slugger’s eight homers and 21 RBI while batting .328 for the Red Sox.
San Diego then added Castro and Nola in consecutive trades on Sunday night.
Along with his defense, Castro could provide another boost to San Diego’s increasingly powerful lineup at an area of need. Austin Hedges is batting .164 with five RBIs in 29 games, and injured backup Francisco Mejia has three hits all season.
Castro was a late scratch from the Angels’ starting lineup against Seattle on Sunday, but the trade wasn’t announced or finalized until after the Halos’ 2-1 loss in 10 innings. That was fortunate for the Angels, because Castro was their only backup catcher — particularly after emergency catcher David Fletcher left the game in the fifth with an injury.
The Angels expected to be in playoff contention in September, but their enormously disappointing season has led them to shed at least two veterans close to free agency. Los Angeles traded infielder Tommy La Stella to Oakland on Friday for infielder Franklin Barreto.
The 27-year-old Reyes went 4-0 with a 7.62 ERA in 27 appearances for the Padres last season, his first in the majors after a half-decade in San Diego’s minor league system. Reyes has a 100-mph fastball, but has struggled with his control.
Reyes hasn’t pitched in the big leagues this season, unable to win a spot in San Diego’s bullpen. He had 38 strikeouts last season and exhibited a nasty slider, but his control problems led to too many walks and runs.
The Angels haven’t lost much with their two deals: La Stella and Castro both will be free agents this winter.
Right-hander Dylan Bundy also has been prominent in trade rumors, but Eppler has so far resisted the temptation to move his most successful pitching acquisition in an otherwise dismal history over the past few years. Bundy, who is under team control next year, is 4-2 with a 2.47 ERA after beating Seattle on Saturday night.
Four-time Gold Glove shortstop Andrelton Simmons is another candidate to be on the move with his contract ending this season.
Mariners deal Nola to Padres
Seattle and San Diego completed a seven-player trade, with catcher Austin Nola joining the contending Padres and prized outfield prospect Taylor Trammell going to the Mariners as centerpieces of the deal.
Seattle sent Nola and right-handed relievers Austin Adams and Dan Altavilla to the Padres, while Trammell led a list of youngsters headed back to the Mariners. Also going to Seattle is infielder Ty France, catcher Luis Torres and reliever Andres Muñoz.
Nola has the versatility to play several positions. He played first, second and third base, and both corner outfield positions last season for Seattle. This season, Nola has started 23 games behind the plate and two at first base.
Nola is hitting .306 with five home runs and 19 RBIs in 29 games, and his defense behind the plate has been praised by Seattle manager Scott Servais after Nola came up through the minors as a middle infielder. He’s the older brother of Phillies ace Aaron Nola.
Altavilla has been part of Seattle’s bullpen since 2016 but has appeared in more than 22 games only once. This season, Altavilla is 1-2 with a 7.71 ERA in 13 appearances.
Adams has not pitched this season while still recovering after tearing his ACL last September. Adams took part in the early stages of Seattle’s summer camp, but the team admitted he was pushed a little too soon and wanted to wait until he was fully recovered.
Trammell is ranked as the No. 4 prospect in the Padres organization, while Muñoz – who was considered San Diego’s closer of the future before undergoing Tommy John surgery in March – made his debut in the majors last season.