Mauricio Dubón traded to Astros

WASHINGTON — With starting second baseman José Altuve and starting shortstop Jeremy Peña dealing with lingering injuries and the Astros not getting much production from their bench, the club made a trade Saturday to bolster its position-player depth, acquiring Mauricio Dubón from the Giants in trade for minor league catcher Michael Papierski.

Dubón, 27, has played four years in the major leagues, mainly with the Giants, after being acquired from the Brewers. He has a career slash line of .258/.301/.395 with 15 home runs and 58 RBI in 179 games. He has played mostly center field, but has a lot of time at second base and shortstop, as well as some third base.

Astros general manager James Click said Dubón will join the Astros in Washington on Sunday, at which point a corresponding roster move will take place.

“Mauricio is a guy we’ve been targeting since this offseason and targeting to try to get on the team,” Click said. “We couldn’t do it then and we continued the conversation with the Giants for a while. He is a multi-position player who contributes a lot in terms of defensive versatility”.

Pena, who is having a breakout rookie season, missed Friday’s series opener at Washington with a sore right knee he suffered while running the bases Thursday at Minneapolis. Altuve slipped on wet grass late in Friday’s game and was taken out in the ninth inning for precautionary reasons. It’s unclear what Altuve injured. Click doesn’t think Altuve or Pena require a season on the disabled list.

“That type of persistent injuries, as well as Aledmys Díaz [nagging injury], really highlighted the marathon in front of us and really helped motivate us to make this move,” Click said. “We don’t anticipate any of those guys going on the disabled list, but we’ll re-evaluate the list after today and see what makes the most sense.”

Still, the Astros haven’t gotten much production off their bench this year. Infielder/utility outfielder Diaz, who has also been dealing with a hand problem, is hitting .191/.257/.294, and infielder Niko Goodrum is hitting .128/.171/.179. Dubón could provide more strength offensively and Click believes he is a solid defender at various positions.

“There are a lot of guys from multiple positions who are weaker at one position, maybe, than another,” Click said. “We do not feel that Mauricio falls into that. We feel like he can provide quality defense in the outfield, and our defense is something that has been critical to this team’s success over the course of the season. We think he can be a big part of that going forward.”

The Astros have only two other infielders on the 40-man Triple-A roster, Joe Perez and JJ Matijevic, and both arrived earlier this year to round out the roster for short stints.

Papierski, a ninth-round pick in 2017, posted a .211/.324/.278 slash line in 26 games this season at Triple-A with the Sugar Land Space Cowboys.

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