The Nationals have a deal in place with backstop Welington Castillo, per reports from MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter) and Todd Dybas of NBC Sports Washington (via Twitter). He’ll be in big league camp this spring.
Castillo will join a catching mix that already includes two MLB fixtures in Kurt Suzuki and Yan Gomes, both of whom are playing on guaranteed contracts. The former has dealt with some health issues, but all indications are that the pairing will be available at the outset of the season.
Accordingly, Castillo will have a hard time cracking the Nats’ 26-man roster unless an injury arises or the club decides to carry three backstops. It’s certainly possible he could look to catch on elsewhere if he turns in a solid spring but can’t get a look in D.C. Alternatively, Castillo could end up as depth at Triple-A.
At times in his career, Castillo has been quite a strong offensive producer for a catcher. But he’s coming off of a suboptimal 2019 season (.209/.267/.417) after sitting out for a big chunk of the prior campaign owing to a PED suspension. Through 2,701 career plate appearances over the past decade, Castillo carries a .254/.313/.426 batting line.
Castillo’s reputation isn’t quite as good on the other side of the action. Outside of an outlying 2017 season, he has mostly rated as a poor framer. Castillo has typically graded well as a blocker and thrower, but nosedived in both areas (the former, especially) in that rough 2019 showing.