Braves deal C Bethancourt to Padres after dismal year

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ATLANTA (AP) The Atlanta Braves have dealt away young catcher Christian Bethancourt after a disappointing season in which he failed to take advantage of his chance to take over the starting job.

Once hyped as the catcher of the future, the 24-year-old Bethancourt was dealt to the San Diego Padres on Thursday for right-handed pitcher Casey Kelly and minor league catcher Ricardo Rodriguez.

Bethancourt began the 2015 season as the No. 1 catcher but got off to a terrible start and wound being demoted to the minors. He returned late in the season, batting .200 with two homers and 12 RBIs.

When the Braves re-signed 38-year-old A.J. Pierzynski and agreed to a deal this week with catcher Tyler Flowers, it was clear that Bethancourt's days in Atlanta were numbered.