By re-signing A.J. Pierzynski and adding Tyler Flowers the Braves made it clear they weren’t ready to give former top prospect Christian Bethancourt another chance at catcher and now they’re moving on completely.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Braves are “close” to trading Bethancourt to the Padres, who’ve been linked to him all week.
Bethancourt has hit just .219 with two homers and a .527 OPS in 80 games as a big leaguer, but he’s only 24 years old and ranked as a consensus top-100 prospect as recently as 2014. He also hit .327 in 52 games at Triple-A this past season, so it’s easy to see why the Padres would take a flier on him as cheap, potential long-term help at a premium position.
ST. LOUIS – Reliever Giovanny Gallegos and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a two-year, $11 million contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2025 and escalators that could make it worth $20.5 million over three seasons.
The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-5 with a 2.91 ERA and 14 saves in 20 chances this season. He has 72 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58 2/3 innings.
“I feel so happy,” Gallegos said before the Cardinals played the Pirates in Pittsburgh. “I don’t have the word for exactly how I’m feeling.”
He was obtained from the Yankees in July 2018 along with left-hander Chasen Shreve in the trade that sent first baseman Luke Voit to New York. Gallegos is 14-15 with a 3.02 ERA and 34 saves in six major league seasons.
Gallegos gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $4.5 million next year and $5.5 million in 2024. St. Louis has a $6.5 million team option for 2025 with a $500,000 buyout.
His 2025 option price can increase by up to $3.5 million for games finished in 2024: $500,000 each for 20-25 and 26-30 and 31-35, and $1 million apiece for 36-40 and 41 or more.
He would get $250,000 for winning the Rivera/Hoffman reliever of the year award, $50,000 for All-Star selection and World Series MVP and $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP.
Gallegos has a $2.41 million salary this year.
He was eligible for salary arbitration and is potentially eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.