Brewers address catching depth, acquire Caratini from Padres
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers acquired Victor Caratini from the San Diego Padres on Wednesday to address their catching depth, a day after Pedro Severino was suspended for the first 80 games following a positive drug test.
Milwaukee sent minor league outfielder Korry Howell and catcher Brett Sullivan to the Padres in the trade.
This Brewers open the season on Thursday at the Chicago Cubs.
Severino tested positive for the performance-enhancing substance Clomiphene, a women’s fertility drug that has been used by some athletes to counter side effects of steroids use.
“Once that happened, we began calling around, seeing what catchers might be available,” Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns said. “Caratini is someone who we’re very familiar with and have had interest in before and are pleased that we’re able to line up with San Diego and bring him into the fold today.”
The Brewers had signed Severino to work as the main backup to starting catcher Omar Narváez. That role now will go to the 28-year-old Caratini, who batted .227 with seven homers and 39 RBIs in 116 games or the Padres last season.
Caratini, a switch-hitter, has hit .242 with 22 homers and 112 RBIs in 362 career games with the Cubs (2017-20) and Padres. He primarily has played catcher but has 59 career appearances at first base and also has experience at third base and in the outfield.
“He’s been in this division,” Stearns said. “He understands what this job entails. The switch-hitter profile is a bonus here. Having someone who could bat from both sides of the plate, it gives the manager a little bit extra versatility in terms of how he uses them. And while we look at him primarily as a catcher, this is someone who has played other positions, adding to the usefulness on the roster.”
Howell, 23, hit .244 with 16 homers and 41 RBIs in 97 games with the Brewers’ Single-A Wisconsin and Double-A Biloxi affiliates last season.
Sullivan, 28, signed with the Brewers on Nov. 30 after spending seven seasons in the minors with the Tampa Bay Rays organization.
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