No team can easily withstand the loss of its closer and starting catcher, and a low-revenue club such as the Kansas City Royals is even more challenged when injuries strike at those positions.
The Royals do not expect to find a replacement for closer Joakim Soria, but they addressed their catching void and added outfield depth Tuesday, acquiring catcher Humberto Quintero and outfielder Jason Bourgeois from the Houston Astros.
The two veterans cost the Royals minor-league left-hander Kevin Chapman and a player to be named. Quintero, 32, will be a part-time replacement for injured catcher Salvador Perez. Bourgeois, 30, is a right-handed hitter who plays all three outfield positions and even second base.
Perez, recovering from surgery on his left knee, is expected to be out until at least June 15. Quintero will share time with Brayan Pena, each possibly playing 2 to 4 times a week. Pena is a switch-hitter. Quintero is a better defender, but offensively challenged, his career OPS is only .589.
Bourgeois, meanwhile, helps balance the Royals’ bench; the team’s other two reserve outfielders, Jarrod Dyson and Mitch Maier, both are left-handed hitters. In 109 plate appearances last season against left-handed pitching, Bourgeois had a .925 OPS. He also stole 31 bases in 37 attempts.
The Royals’ loss of Soria, who likely will require a second Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, did not create an urgent need. Right-handers Jonathon Broxton and Greg Holland will work the late innings, while righty Aaron Crow, who had been working as a starter, will return to the bullpen to increase manager Ned Yost’s options.