According to Jon Heyman, the Orioles have reached a deal with free agent catcher Welington Castillo.
Ken Rosenthal and Roch Kubatko have confirmed the report in a follow-upto Heyman’s initial tweet. Rosenthal reports that the deal is for one year with a $6 million guarantee with a $7 million player option for a second year. The agreement is pending a team physical.
In 2016, Castillo appeared in 113 games for the Diamondbacks (103 starts behind the plate) and batted .264/.322/.423 with 14 home runs, 24 doubles, 68 RBI, 33 walks, and 121 strikeouts over 457 plate appearances. Castillo wears out lefties in particular, batting .278/.346/.522 in 2016 and has a career line of .285/.353/.484 over 490 plate appearances. That should be a welcome addition to an Oriole lineup that struggled versus southpaws in 2016.
Behind the plate, he finished second in the NL and third in the majors with a 37.5% caught stealing rate. Although, he also finished second in the majors with ten passed balls and is considered an average pitch framer (For what it’s worth, he rated a better framer then Matt Wieters in 2016 according to StatCorner). Still, for a one year deal at a presumably cheaper cost than Matt Wieters, this looks like a smart move by Dan Duquette while the club lets top prospect Chance Sisco continue his development in the minors another year.