Atlanta Braves close to dealing Christian Bethancourt


The Atlanta Braves are reportedly near a deal with the San Diego Padres that could send once-promising catcher Christian Bethancourt to Southern California.

According to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Atlanta Braves are close to making a deal with the San Diego Padres that would send catcher Christian Bethancourt to a favorite trade partner of the Atlanta Braves.

Once inspecting MLB Network insider Joel Sherman’s Twitter account, he believes that Atlanta Braves are targeting sparingly used right-handed pitcher Casey Kelly.

With the signing of free agent backstop Tyler Flowers, who last played for the Chicago White Sox, it seems inevitable that the Atlanta Braves will deal Christian Bethancourt, due to a universally perceived lack of development both behind the plate and in the batter’s box.

More from Braves Rumors

Bethancourt was once a prized prospect in the Atlanta Braves’ farm system, so impressive that the Braves elected to let long-time All-Star catcher Brian McCann walk via free agency after 2013 and traded away the big bat of Evan Gattis to the Houston Astros for right-hander Mike Foltynewicz.

Atlanta signed veteran backstop A.J. Pierzynski to a one-year deal in hopes that he could serve as the perfect mentor for the Braves’ prized catching prospect. Instead Pierzynski ended up having a hot start with his bat while Bethancourt struggled at the plate, surprisingly taking his job as the Atlanta Braves’ starting catcher.

The Braves ended up sending Bethancourt back to AAA Gwinnett to work on his defense, not his bat. Though he only hit .200/.225/.290 in 48 games behind the plate for the 2015 Atlanta Braves, it was his declining defensive skills that had the Atlanta front office concerned. He wasn’t receiving the ball well, letting multiple passed ball shoot by him. Even some of his patented howitzers to second base on stealing attempts were haphazardly air-mailed.

San Diego is an organization that does well with coaching backstops, so maybe the Padres see some untapped potential in Bethancourt that Atlanta cannot find. The Braves are always willing to entertain trade talks to acquire more arm talent for their roster.

Next: Atlanta Braves: Miller Trade Makes Braves Better in 2016

Perhaps Casey Kelly could provide the club with another arm they could use in their bullpen this upcoming season. Keep an eye on this development, as the end of the Christian Bethancourt era in Atlanta Braves baseball could come to an abrupt end here shortly.