Brewers acquire catcher Caratini following Severino suspension

Cubs shut out Brewers 3-0, take 2-game lead

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers have acted fast following the suspension of backup catcher Pedro Severino, acquiring former Chicago Cubs catcher Victor Caratini from the San Diego Padres a day before Opening Day.

The team announced Wednesday it is trading catcher Brett Sullivan and minor league outfielder Korry Howell to the Padres in exchange for Caratini. The Brewers will also receive cash in the deal. Caratini recently signed a $2 million contract for the 2022 season to avoid arbitration with the Padres.

Sullivan signed with the Brewers as a free agent on November 30 after spending seven seasons in the minor league system for the Tampa Bay Rays. The 23-year-old Howell was a 12th-round pick in the 2018 draft for the Brewers, splitting last season between Class-A Wisconsin and Double-A Biloxi, hitting .244 with 16 home runs and driving in 51 runs between the two levels.

Caratini spent last season with San Diego after being included in the Cubs’ trade of star pitcher Yu Darvish to the Padres. He set a career-high in games played, appearing in 116 games while hitting .227 with a .309 on-base percentage, hitting 7 home runs and 9 doubles in 313 at-bats.

Caratini’s best season in the majors was in 2019, when he hit .266 with a .348 on-base percentage in 95 games with the Cubs, hitting 11 home runs and 11 doubles. As a Cub, Caratini routinely hit well against the Brewers and in Milwaukee, hitting .327 with a .397 on-base percentage in a small sample size of 58 plate appearances at American Family Field.

He now slides back into a backup role like the one he held with the Cubs, as Omar Narvaez is coming off of an All-Star season.

RELATED: Brewers catcher Pedro Severino blames infertility treatment for failed PED test

After losing long-time backup Manny Pina to the Atlanta Braves in free agency, the Brewers added Severino to man the backup role, only to see Severino suspended 80 games this week for using a banned substance that he claims came from a male fertility treatment as he and his wife tried to start a family.

Severino is also ineligible for postseason play should the Brewers qualify again for the playoffs, due to MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy.