The Kansas City Royals announced today that they’ve agreed to terms with catcher Martín Maldonado on a one-year Major League contract for the 2019 season. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. In a corresponding roster move, catcher Salvador Perez has been placed on the 60-day Injured List (recovery from UCL reconstruction).
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Maldonado, 32, split last season between the Los Angeles Angels and Houston, being acquired by the Astros on July 26. His 111 starts behind the plate between his two stops ranked third in the AL, behind Jonathan Lucroy (119) and James McCann (112). Overall, the right-handed hitter batted .225/.276/.351 (84-for-373) with 18 doubles, a triple, nine homers and 44 RBI. Defensively, Maldonado ranked second among Major League catchers in caught stealing percentage (45.5%, 15-for-33), trailing only Perez (47.1%). He started six of Houston’s eight postseason contests last season, which included hitting his first postseason home run in Game 1 of the American League Division Series – a solo shot off Cleveland’s Cody Allen.
Maldonado was the AL Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner at catcher in 2017. He’s the only AL backstop to win the award other than Perez since 2013. He’s entering his ninth big league season, after making his debut in 2011 with Milwaukee. Since the start of 2012, his 37.7 caught stealing percentage is tops among MLB catchers (min. 400 games). He set career highs in 2017 with the Angels in games (138), hits (95), doubles (19) and homers (14).