The Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres completed a three-player trade tonight, as Atlanta acquired right-handed pitcher Casey Kelly and minor league catcher Ricardo Rodriguez in exchange for catcher Christian Bethancourt.
"We are excited to add Casey Kelly and Ricardo Rodriguez to our organization," said Braves general manager John Coppolella. "Casey will compete for a spot on our major league pitching staff this spring, while Ricardo brings another young catcher to our farm system who has a lot of promise and upside."
Kelly, 26, is ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the Padres' 30th-best prospect and was a key component in the 2010 five-player trade between the Boston Red Sox and the Padres that featured three of Boston's top prospects in Kelly, Anthony Rizzo and Reymond Fuentes (and a player to be named later) being sent to San Diego in exchange for Adrian Gonzalez.
He spent the majority of the 2015 season between the San Diego Padres' Triple-A and Double-A affiliates, making a combined 31 appearances, including 17 starts. He posted a 3.13 ERA through his first 15 appearances (one start) of the season and finished the year with a 2-10 record and a 5.16 ERA. The right-hander was selected to the Major League roster in mid-September and appeared in three games (two starts) for San Diego totaling 11.1 innings.
The former first-round draft selection in 2008 by the Boston Red Sox underwent "Tommy John" surgery in March of 2013 and has a career minor-league record of 24-28 with a 3.98 ERA. In 2012, he appeared in six games for the Padres, going 2-3 with a 6.21 ERA. He owns a career Major League record of 2-5 with a 6.69 ERA spanning nine appearances.
Rodriguez, 17, played at two different rookie levels in the Padres farm system in 2015, his first season in professional baseball. The right-handed hitting catcher posted a .266 (29-for-109) batting average with six doubles, two home runs and 15 RBI between the Arizona Padres and the Dominican Summer League Padres. A native of Porlamar, Venezuela, Rodriguez was signed by San Diego as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2014.
Bethancourt, 24, was signed by the Braves as a non-drafted free agent in 2008 and has played parts of the last three seasons with Atlanta. He owns a career batting average of .219 with two home runs and 21 RBI.