Astros, Braves discussing deal for Gattis

The Astros are reportedly close to acquiring Braves catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis in exchange for a trio of prospects, according to multiple sources — though the deal is not finalized just yet. Mark Bowman of MLB.com adds that the Rangers are also still in the mix, if a deal is not completed with the Astros.

The potential return package from Houston would reportedly include right-handers Michael Foltynewicz and Andrew Thurman, as well as third baseman Rio Ruiz, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Foltynewicz is ranked as the Astros’ No. 4 overall prospect according to MLB.com, while Ruiz checks in as the club’s No. 9-ranked prospect.

If a deal is completed, it would mean the Braves have traded away their top two home run hitters from 2014 in Gattis and Justin Upton, who was traded to the Padres last month.

Gattis, who could serve as a catcher, outfielder or designated hitter in Houston, is currently under contract through the 2018 season. The 28-year-old posted a .263/.317/.493 batting line this past season, while hitting 22 home runs in just 108 games. He hit 21 homers over 105 games during his rookie season in 2013.

As for the Astros, they currently have Jason Castro penciled in as their starting catcher. Castro is coming off a disappointing 2014 campaign in which he hit just .222/.286/.366 with 14 home runs, though he did rack up a .276/.350/.485 line with 18 homers — all career-bests — in 2013.

— Paul Casella

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