The Baltimore Orioles are in need of a new catcher. Could Welington Castillo be the guy?
Long-time Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters will most likely go elsewhere and the Orioles have looked into a few different options. Nick Hundley and Alex Avila‘s names have come up previously, as catching options in 2017 for Baltimore. However, another name could be added to the mix:
Welington Castillo is his name and according to MASN’s Roch Kutbatko, the Orioles have interest in the catcher:
Include #orioles among teams interested in Welington Castillo. Have liked him for awhile. Was non-tendered.
— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) December 3, 2016
He won’t be easily signed by Baltimore and his services are highly coveted. A few other teams are interested in acquiring a catcher of his caliber and rightfully so. He has averaged 111.5 games played in the past four seasons, batting .253/.316/.416 over that span.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Tampa Bay Rays have interest in the 29-year old catcher as well:
The Rays have definite interest and are expected to aggressively pursue Castillo, 29, who hit .264 with 14 homers, 68 RBIs and a .745 OPS in 113 games last year. Castillo, considered an average pitch framer, was projected to make $5.9 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility.
Hearing #Rays aren't only team pursuing C Welington Castillo, that he had "quite a few" calls, nothing imminent
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) December 3, 2016
Not to be outdone, the Atlanta Braves also have interest in Castillo, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constituion in a tweet:
He batted .264/.322/.423 last season. He was non-tendered by his former team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. It remains a mystery as to why they would allow a longtime starting catcher to be released from their clutches. Castillo also played for the Chicago White Sox and Seattle Mariners before being acquired by the Diamondbacks in 2015.
Castillo could be a good fit for Baltimore’s lineup, adding a right-handed bat that has some pop as well. He doesn’t need to be the long-term option and gives the Orioles a good stop gap before Chance Sisco gets to the Majors. It is quite possible that “Beef” Welington could be coming to Baltimore…