Cubs trade Martin Maldonado to Astros for Tony Kemp
Tony Kemp is headed to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Martin Maldonado, the Chronicle has learned.
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) July 31, 2019
Houston traded for Maldonado last July, and had shown an increasing level of interest in him leading up to the deadline.
Meanwhile, the Astros had designated Kemp for assignment (DFA) in the hopes of including him in a potential deal, which they appear to have found with the Cubs.
Kemp posted a slash of .227/.308/.417 in his first 66 games with the Astros. He should provided the Cubs with good speed of the bench, as well as being a dependable defensive outfielder.
Chicago has been searching for answers in the outfield all season long. While Jason Heyward is putting together easily his best season as a Cub, Kyle Schwarber has been very inconsistent while Albert Almora Jr. has been one of the least-productive hitters in baseball.
The Cubs recently promoted Ian Happ to try to add value in the outfield, and now will rely on Kemp as another depth piece that could possibly be relied upon as a base stealer down the stretch.
Last season, the Cubs addressed a need for speed off the bench by acquiring Terrance Gore from the Kansas City Royals. Though Kemp is not the kind of speed demon that Gore is, he is more capable of stealing a base than just about anyone on Chicago’s roster.
Meanwhile, the Astros finally have a more reliable and defensive catcher to back up Robinson Chirinos.