If you had the Baltimore Orioles signing free agent catcher Wellington Castillo, you won! The O’s have unofficially signed Castillo to a one-year deal worth $6 million for 2017. It includes a $7 million player option for 2018 if Castillo decides to stick around. So all-in-all, the contract is worth $13 million (if he chooses to play for the Orioles for two seasons).
This all but gaurantees that Matt Wieters will not be back. Did Wieters and his agent over-estimate his worth? Tough to say. But all we know is that Castillo is coming to town.
Castillo hit .264 last year with Arizona with 14 home runs. He also got on base at a .322 clip. His fielding percentage behind the plate was also .992, which was a slight touch higher than that of Wieters.
Castillo is only 29 years old, so he has experience and is younger than Matt Wieters. Still however, it’s going to be strange for Orioles fans seeing someone else behind the plate not wearing number 32. Well, for all we know Castillo will be issued that number – but work with me, folks!
It’ll be interesting to see if he’s the true starting catcher, and/or how much play time Caleb Joseph sees. I personally still think that Joseph should be the starter given his time in the organization and what he means to the club. However you don’t sign Castillo to be a backup. He’ll almost surely start come Opening Day. Oh and incidentally, the deal of course is pending a physical. (Had to throw that in!)