Martín Maldonado signs with Royals
Just over a week ago, Royals longtime catcher Salvador Pérez went down with an arm injury that would eventually lead to Tommy John surgery. Although Kansas City was almost certainly not going to contend in 2019, it was still a big punch to the gut for Royals fans. Pérez has been one of the most worked and most durable catchers in all of baseball, and having him miss an entire season had the team scrambling. On Saturday, they stopped scrambling. The rebuilding club signed 2017 Gold Glove Award winner Martín Maldonado to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million.
This is a big deal for the Red Sox, as the Pérez injury made the Royals a potential trade partner as the expectation is still for Boston to eventually deal one of their backstops before Opening Day. With Maldonado in tow, that is obviously much less likely. There’s still some chance they could pair Maldonado with another catcher from outside the organization, but that seems unlikely. The Royals also have a pair of young catchers who they likely want to get some experience in the majors. There will be other potential trade partners, of course, but it’s never good when one of the obvious ones comes off the board.