The Brewers made another offseason trade, sending catcher Martin Maldonado and minor-league pitcher Drew Gagnon to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in exchange for catcher Jett Bandy, general manager David Stearns announced Tuesday.
In the swap of big-league catchers, Milwaukee netted a player four years younger than their longtime backup, who became the starter after the team shipped Jonathan Lucroy to the Rangers at midseason.
Brewers trade Martin Maldonado to Angels for Jett Bandy
As with the Brewers' trade last week of Tyler Thornburg to the Red Sox, a key component of this deal was cost savings in arbitration. Bandy, 26, is not yet eligible, while Maldonado, in his second year of arbitration, was due to receive a raise this winter from the $1.1 million salary he had last year.
Like Maldonado, Bandy is a good defensive catcher with a strong arm. In 60 starts last season, he threw out 17 of 46 baserunners attempting to steal (37.0 percent), which ranked fourth in the American League and first among Major League rookies. After opening the 2016 season at Triple-A Salt Lake, Bandy was recalled by the Angels on May 20, batting .234 with eight home runs, 25 RBI and a .673 OPS in 70 games.
"We are pleased that we were able to add Jett Bandy to the organization," Stearns said in a statement. "Jett's presence augments our group of young catchers at the Major League level and upper levels of the minor leagues. Jett has developed into a well-rounded contributor both behind the plate and at bat.
"He brings solid defensive acumen along with above average power, and we are looking forward to watching his continued growth in the Brewers organization."
Bandy was originally selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 41st round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Thousand Oaks (CA) High School, but he did not sign. In 2011, the Angels drafted him in the 31st round out of the University of Arizona, and he made his Major League debut in 2015 as a September call-up. In six Minor League seasons, Bandy had a .337 on-base percentage.
Originally drafted by the Angels in 2004, the cannon-armed Maldonado signed with the Brewers as a free agent in 2007. Over five seasons in Milwaukee, he batted .217 with 28 home runs and 111 RBI in 355 games from 2011-16. This past season, the 30-year-old Maldonado played in 76 games, hitting .202 with a .683 OPS, eight homers and 21 RBI, taking over as the primary catcher after the Aug. 1 trade of Lucroy to Texas. He was backed up by Manny Pina, and later Andrew Susac, both of whom will likely compete with Bandy for playing time behind the plate next season.
The 26-year-old Gagnon was selected by Milwaukee in the third round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. The right-handed reliever spent 2016 between Double-A Biloxi, where he appeared in five games, and Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he pitched in 31 games. Overall, he went 3-1 with a 4.48 ERA.
Stearns has made a number of personnel major moves since the 2016 season ended. Among those were giving manager Craig Counsell a three-year contract extension on Nov. 11, designating Chris Carter for assignment and signing first baseman Eric Thames to a three-year deal a few weeks later, and trading Thornburg to Boston last week for infielder Andrew Shaw (the Mayor of Ding Dong City), prospects Mauricio Dubon and Josh Pennington and either a player to be named or cash.
What do you think of Stearns' offseason decisions so far? What's the Brewers move you most want to see made this winter?
 Jimmy Carlton/OnMilwaukee

Comments are closed.