Why Dubón wasn't surprised by trade from Giants to Astros


SAN FRANCISCO -- The timing of the Mauricio Dubón trade seemed to shock a lot of Giants fans. Dubón was playing his best baseball of the last couple of seasons and was starting to get more time in Gabe Kapler's lineups, but on Saturday morning he was sent to the Houston Astros for minor league catcher Michael Papierski. 

It was a deal the Giants knew they would have to make at some point. Dubón came into the season without minor league options remaining and behind Thairo Estrada on the depth chart. Neither player could be sent back to Triple-A, and with Tommy La Stella wrapping up a rehab assignment, it was clear a move was coming. When he met with Astros reporters on Sunday, Dubon said he knew what was about to happen. 

"I did. I did," Dubón said. "I just didn't know where," he said. "I knew something was happening. Me and my wife were ready for it. It's just the best for my career, I'll move on and go somewhere else and get a fresh start."

The Giants made the move to acquire catching depth -- they are particularly short on potential MLB options at the upper levels of the minors -- but they also did right by Dubón. The Astros had won 11 straight at the time of the deal and Dubon was excited to join another winner. He should provide infield depth for a team with a rookie shortstop -- Jeremy Pena, who is off to a great start -- and this gets him much closer to his Miami home. 

Dubón also will now play for Dusty Baker, whose son, Darren, was one of Dubón's workout partners in high school. Dubón grew up a Giants fan and said he was excited to play for Baker, who gave him a simple message on his first day with the Astros. 

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"It was just be ready to win, be ready to play," Dubon said. "We don't want you to change anything, just be yourself and be ready to play."

Dubon got into the action right away, entering as a defensive replacement in Sunday's win over the Washington Nationals and lining out to third in his only at-bat. Baker might want him to be himself, but there was one notable change. The mustache Dubon had grown to join his Giants teammates did not make the trip to the American League.

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