Braves “close” to trading catcher Christian Bethancourt to Padres

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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.