The Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals announced a trade yesterday that sent catcher Humberto Quintero and outfielder Jason Bourgeois to KC. In exchange for the veterans, the Astros received 24-year-old left-hander Kevin Chapman and a minor league player to be named later.
Kansas City has been on the prowl for a backstop since news broke of Salvador Perez’s knee injury that will sideline him for the first few months of the season. It’s now rumored that, even after the addition of Quintero, the Royals are still in the market for catching help. But at least now KC has a veteran to pair with backup Brayan Pena.
In Bourgeois the Royals receive a late-bloomer. The 30-year-old, a second round pick by the Texas Rangers back in 2000, didn’t reach the major league level until 2008 and didn’t see much playing time until ’10. Last season for the Astros, Bourgeois hit at a clip of .294/.323/.357 with 31 stolen bases over his 93 games.
Bourgeois can man all three outfield positions and even started a game at second base last season. He is much stronger against lefties and offers significant speed.
Houston viewed each player as expendable and is prepared to move forward with other players. With the trade of Bourgeois, Jordan Schafer is likely to slide into the role of everyday center fielder for the Astros. Houston already had backstops Jason Castro and Chris Snyder on their roster, so there was little need for Quintero and his $1 million salary.
In exchange for Quintero and Bourgeois, the Astros received left-hander Kevin Chapman. Taken in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Royals, Chapman has been used solely as a reliever in the minors. While not regarded as one of KC’s top prospects, Chapman has been able to maintain an impressive career SO/9 of 12.4 to go with his middling ERA (5.06) and WHIP (1.462).