Astros extend catcher Maldonado for ’22 season

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The Houston Astros have reached a one-year contract extension with veteran catcher Martin Maldonado, general manager James Click announced Wednesday.

Under terms of the deal, Maldonado will make $5 million in 2022, a source confirmed to ESPN. The deal, which includes a $500,000 buyout, also has a $5 million vesting option for 2023 that becomes guaranteed if Maldonado plays in 90 or more games this season.

Maldonado, 34, has served two stints with the Astros and has emerged one of their core vocal leaders over these last couple of years. He is making $3.5 million in 2021, the second season of a $7 million, two-year contract.

He is off to a slow start offensively this season — with only three hits and 17 strikeouts in 34 at-bats — and has batted only .216/.291/.352 throughout a major league career that spans 11 seasons. But his value comes in his handling of the pitching staff and his defense, particularly his arm strength.

Maldonado won a Gold Glove Award in 2017 and ranks as the game’s best pitch-framer in 2021.

He would have been eligible for free agency after the World Series.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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