Astros send Straily to SD for catcher Kratz

Astros send Straily to SD for catcher Kratz

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Astros sent right-hander Dan Straily to the Padres on Monday in exchange for catcher Erik Kratz in a deal that satisfies the Astros' desire to add a catcher following the injury to backup Max Stassi.

Kratz, 35 and a non-roster invitee at Padres camp this spring, hit .227 in 12 games for the Padres last season and is a career .218 hitter in 192 career games with the Pirates, Phillies, Blue Jays and Royals. He spent most of last year at Triple-A and hit .256 with 14 doubles, seven homers and 32 RBIs in 51 games.

Kratz is expected to join the team on Thursday in Houston.

"He's been through a couple of different teams, and I know pitchers love throwing to him," manager A.J. Hinch said. "He's got some home run power. There's a steadiness to him. Scouts like him. I've gotten text messages from some of the pitchers in Padres camp who are raving about the guy. I'm looking forward to getting him to camp."

Straily, who was out of options, was battling for the final spot in the Astros' bullpen and was coming off an outing on Friday against the Braves in which he threw four hitless and scoreless innings and struck out four. He spent most of last season at Triple-A Fresno, where he went 10-9 with a 4.77 ERA in 22 starts.

Stassi had surgery last week to remove the hook of the hamate bone of his left hand, putting him out for the start of the season. He was penciled in to be Jason Castro's backup to start the season. The Astros have Roberto Pena as the only other healthy catcher in camp, but it appears Kratz will back up Castro to start the season.

With the addition of Kratz and the removal of Straily, the Astros' 40-man roster remains at 39.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.