Jason Castro has been the most frequently discussed free-agent catcher to this point, and multiple reports today have continued to shine a light on his market. Earlier today, ESPN’s Buster Olney again linked Castro to the Twins and added that there’s an expectation that Castro will get “at least” a three-year deal in free agency. Olney followed up that report with a tweet indicating that the Braves are among the “most serious bidders” for Castro’s services. That’s not the first time that Castro has been tied to Atlanta, but Olney’s report carries more conviction than previous links between the two sides.
SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo reports (Twitter links) that five teams have joined the incumbent Astros in the mix for Castro right now, which seems to reflect the lay of the land. Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reported last week that Castro had offers from three AL clubs, and the Twins have been reported to be interested but haven’t made an offer, as Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN reports (Twitter link). Adding them and the Braves into the mix makes five clubs, though the identities of the other interested AL clubs remains unknown.
The Rays are one potential match, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times recently noted that they’re hoping to find a new starting catcher this winter and could be drawn to Castro’s left-handed bat and framing skills. Topkin, though, did not specifically note whether the Rays have reached out. Other AL clubs in need of catching help include the Orioles, White Sox, and Angels.
Castro, 29, batted a disappointing .210/.307/.377 last year, but he performs considerably better against right-handed pitching and is regarded as one of baseball’s elite pitch framers. He’s thrown out potential base-stealers at a roughly league-average rate throughout his career, and while he had a down season in that regard in 2016 (24 percent), he was considerably above the league average just one year prior (36 percent). He’s joined by Matt Wieters and the currently injured Wilson Ramos in the top tier of the free-agent market for catchers.
I hope Braves can sign Castro. Signing him would make the Braves catching situation so much better!
I enjoy watching Castro call a game. The team that lands him will immediately improve their pitching dynamics.
I think if the Braves want him they will have him. And I am ok with that direction if they choose to go that route. The other scenario that I could see would be to trade for Miguel Montero ride him and Flowers out for next year and then make a strong push for LuCroy next year.
I think Castro would be a good compliment to Flowers though.
With all due respect to Miggy, the Braves can have him. And i dont think it will cost more than a PTBNL. His 2017 salary is 14 mill so i wonder how much of that the cubs would have to eat. I suppose it depends on the player theyd get in return. Best of luck to the Braves in 2017, baseball is better off when theyre competing!
The Cubs really, really don’t have another catcher behind Contreras yet. Schwarber might be good for 25. Caratini won’t be ready until August or so.
Purging Montero for nickels on the dollar requires Contreras to be healthy. Unless something else comes along.
Not ruling it out, but I see Miggy starting 40 or so in Chicago in 2017. At least.
Good point and Montero is a fantastic clubhouse guy. With Ross retired i think they can ride Contreras, Tim Federowitz, and Schwarber. I am a big fan of Caratini and his switch hitting. I have never seen him play so I cant say how he is defensively.
Grampa Rossi looks like he’s going to be coming on board for some position with the cubs and already have Blanco there. I wouldnt be suprised that the presence of those two could accelerate their development.
But youre right, if Contreras gets injured then you have Federowitz and Schwarber (coming of a serious knee tear) which is obviously no dice. So it will be interesting to follow, but if someone is willing to take on 10+ of the 14 million montero is owed, i think they do it. Just my oppinion and I am not a baseball executive or coach.
Caratini is a definite bat first line drive hitting catcher. He doesn’t draw much praise for his defense. but isn’t terrible either by most accounts. Caratini has struggled to hit much in the Arizona Fall League this season. I think he would have to be off to a good start and some significant injuries occur with the big league team for him to see much play time at all with the Cubs in 2017.
Thanks for the insight. So it does seem the cubs would be better off starting the season with Montero as Contreras will be in his first year of full-time duties. There are some guys out there that could be decent backups but considering Montero haz a repor with all of our starters, him sticking around for the last year on his deal seems more and more likely.
Thanks for your input!
This is how these sites should work. We all learn something, and act civil to each other. 🙂
In regards to the good clubhouse thing. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t he publicly say he was pretty jaded the way the Cubs kind of left him out to dry in the playoffs? Something along the lines that they didn’t communicate with him at all about what kind of role he was going to have if anything?
I’m sure it was much ado about nothing but he sounded pretty peeved for a dude that just won a world series.
Yes he did say he was unhappy about his playing time but was most upset about the lack of communication from the top.
This is just how Montero is and i think the players are use to it, plus its not like he was criticizing the team, it was the coaching staff and front office.
All that said, he came out and said that he thought he would be cut at some point around the trade deadline. Instead they kept him around and had a few fantastic moments and got to charge the field after winning it all.
I dont believe this will be a clubhouse issue whatsoever and im pretty sure Arrieta will be happy to keep him around to catch for him.
Federowitz is awful. He won’t return. Schwarber Contreras and Montero are just fine as the cubs 3 catchers with schwarbs and Contreras playing some left field as well
T-Fed is a free agent. Refused his outright to Iowa.
Ahhh ok i thought i saw that somewhere but couldnt dig it up when writing that.
Montero 2017! Lol…
I think your forgetting they signed a knuckballer therefore you’ll need someone to catch him i.e. Thoele so you’d be riding out three pretty rough catchers or Castro and Thoele.
Braves came out and said they will not pursuing an extra catcher just for Dickey. Cant remember where i saw that so take it for what you will.
I would trade Rio Ruiz and Chris Ellis for Miguel Montero and Jeimer Candelario.
Sounds like the cubs would give up a lot for 2 unproven players. Miguel is a good veteran. Candelario struggled in very small amount of playing time. He could get them a quality pitcher if they added soler and happ. (I hate to even talk about trading soler but if he can get the cubs a taijaun walker or james Paxton. Or someone of their quality. I would pull the trigger. At this point happ was drafted for this very reason to get a #3 pitcher with a lot of team controlled years.
Soler, Candelario, and a pitcher like Stinnett for Shoemaker from the Angels.
How close is that?
When trading for prospects, naturally you would be getting unproven players.
I like Castro in Atlanta. I am enjoying this idea of adding pieces to help make the club more competitive
He is a good catcher and a switch hitter that cannot. He will be best on team that either has a good starter and needs a backup or a good hitting team that does not need much production from the catching position
Braves need to sell tickets for new dogs and need more then team AARP dickey-and-colon to turn some heads
when your team news involves Castro……. yikes.
Why Smiley? Castro was hit as well as a league average catcher in 2016 and he was the third best pitch framer in the majors behind only Posey and Grandal. Nothing “yikes” about that.
He is NOT a bat first catcher though.
My reaction to all these Braves trade rumors http://bigmommamemes.com/u036/625b33ec-1f58-48c0-b2d6-a58104190b4e
When I have a kid I’m going to try my hardest to make him throw left handed. If that doesn’t work ill work him as a catcher. It just amazes me that a guy can hit .210 and slug .377 and be considered a hot item.
I know its not great on the knees but jeez I cant believe more athletes that are serious about baseball don’t try to be a catcher. If you have a good arm and are intelligent you can hit like a utility 2B and have a long ass MLB career.
I really don’t get all the hype on this guy. I mean, I’m ok with the braves going after him cause he’s a huge defensive upgrade compared to what we already have. but gosh, it’s not like he throws out everyone in the world and hits well. I’d be much happier if he hit closer to .260 or even .250. But it’s not like he’s killing it with that .232.
I do think the braves need him, and would be a huge asset for our pitching staff. but I don’t think we need to overspend or over commit to him.
He needs to be in a platoon situation because he can’t hit lefties.
He has a career line of .247/.328/.424 against RHP and the league average hitting for catchers last year was .242/.310/.391. This year he was .231/.331/.426 vs RHP so he’s a better than average offensive catcher. Just need to get a back up for him that can hit lefties.
I’d love if the Twins sign him because he’s a gigantic upgrade defensively from Suzuki/Centeno and he hits well enough to be a starter. I just don’t think he’d choose the Twins over other teams.
From the sounds of it Castro fits the mold the twins are looking for.
He is the perfect fit for the pirates. a 3 year deal with two options would be perfect and fit the pirates assumed time line well.
Really with just signing him and nothing else beyond what they already done with coaching… the team would probably be closer to .500 than .400
go get’m Ben!