Brett Nicholas has been traded by the Texas Rangers to the San Diego Padres for a player to be named later or cash, per John Blake on Twitter. Nicholas, 29, had played 36 games in the majors for the Rangers in 2016 and 2017.
Nicholas, a 6th round draft pick out of the University of Missouri in 2010, split his time between first base and catching in the minors. The lefthanded hitter was considered a great teammate and solid organizational soldier, but he didn’t really hit well enough to be a viable option at first base in the big leagues, and his work behind the plate was considered lacking, which meant that he was primarily a depth piece for the Rangers.
Nicholas came into camp vying with Juan Centeno for the backup catcher job, but ended up getting designated for assignment when the Rangers needed a 40 man roster spot for Tim Lincecum. Nicholas cleared waivers and was outrighted to AAA Round Rock, but with Carlos Garay and Isiah Kiner-Falefa also in Round Rock and handling some catching duties, the recent signing of Cameron Rupp effectively squeezed Nicholas out of a spot.
San Diego Padres g.m. A.J. Preller was, of course, with the Rangers when Nicholas was drafted, and presumably Nicholas will have a better opportunity there than he would with the Rangers.