Padres acquire C Christian Bethancourt from Atlanta Braves

Club sends RHP Casey Kelly and C Ricardo Rodriguez to Atlanta

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Padres today announced they have acquired catcher Christian Bethancourt from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for right-handed pitcher Casey Kelly and catcher Ricardo Rodriguez. Executive Vice President/General Manager A.J. Preller made the announcement. 

Bethancourt, 24, hit .200 (31-155) with eight doubles, two home runs, 12 RBI and 16 runs scored in 48 games for Atlanta last season. The backstop made his Major League debut for the Braves in 2013 and has hit .219 (59-269) with 11 doubles, two home runs, 21 RBI and 23 runs scored in 80 games played over parts of three Major League seasons (2013-15) for Atlanta.   He originally signed with the Braves as a non-drafted free agent in March 2008. Over parts of eight minor league seasons (2008-15) with the Braves he has hit .275 (616-2239) with 117 doubles, 11 triples, 38 home runs, 281 RBI, 241 runs scored in 591 games played.

Kelly, 26, pitched in three games, two starts, for the Padres this past season, his first Major League action since 2012. The right-hander was acquired by the Padres in December 2010 from the Boston Red Sox in a five-player trade. Originally signed by the Red Sox as a first-round selection (30th overall) in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. Over parts of two Major League seasons with the Padres (2012, 2015), he has gone 2-5 with a 6.69 ERA (30 ER, 40.1 IP) with 33 strikeouts against 13 walks in nine games, eight starts. Over parts of six minor league seasons with the Padres and Red Sox he has gone 24-28 with a 3.98 ERA (216 ER, 488.0 IP) and 390 strikeouts against 140 walks in 108 games, 94 starts.

Rodriguez, 17, made his professional debut this past season with the Padres Dominican Summer League affiliate and Rookie-Level Affiliate in the Arizona Summer League. Over 30 games total last season he hit .266 (29-109) with six doubles, two home runs, 15 RBI and 18 runs scored. A native of Venezuela, he signed with the Padres as an international free agent on July 2, 2014.