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MLB Rumors: Astros face stiff competition for Martin Maldonado

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The Houston Astros and Martin Maldonado have "mutual interest" in a reunion, according to Chandler Rome of The Athletic. That said, several teams have checked in with the 37-year-old catcher, including the San Diego Padres, Miami Marlins, and Chicago White Sox. Maldonado is a favorite of the Astros' coaching staff and bullpen, but he will cede starting duties to 25-year-old Yainer Diaz next season. Dusty Baker once said Diaz attended Maldonado's "boot camp." Now, the transition of power is official. Maldonado could return as a backup — Rome says Astros pitchers are holding out hope that he does — but another team could tempt the seasoned vet with more money and more opportunity to play.