Veteran catcher Welington Castillo has opted out of the 2020 season, Nationals manager Dave Martinez told reporters Friday (Twitter link via the Washington Post’s Jesse Dougherty). Castillo inked a minor league contract with the Nationals back in January and was originally announced as part of the team’s 60-man player pool. However, it appears he’ll opt not to play during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Castillo likely wouldn’t have opened the year in the Majors, barring an injury to Yan Gomes or Kurt Suzuki, but as a 10-year Major League veteran, he was quite likely the first line of defense should either Gomes or Suzuki need to miss time. With Castillo forgoing the season, he won’t be paid and won’t accrue service time. Catchers Raudy Read, Tres Barrera and Jakson Reetz are all still in the Nationals’ 60-man pool.
The 33-year-old Castillo wrapped up a two-year deal with the White Sox last year. Chicago inked him at a $15.5MM total over two years, and while he hit reasonably well in limited action in 2018 (.259/.304/.406), his 2019 season was the worst of his career at the plate. In 251 plate appearances, Castillo mustered just a .209/.267/.417 slash.
Castillo becomes the third member of the Nationals organization to sit out the 2020 season, joining first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and right-hander Joe Ross. He’ll be a free agent at season’s end and likely return to the open market in search of another minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training. In 2701 career plate appearances, Castillo is a .254/.313/.426 hitter with 98 home runs.
Not major. I guess he plans on sitting next season too. Nothing will be different next March.
too early to tell
That’s 3 players from Washington so far.
Won’t be surprised to see more. Lots of veterans who can afford to forgo the salary.
It’s called a victory lap Terry. Let them enjoy being champs a little longer.
He isn’t a major league player. Has made close to $30 million in his career and signed to minor league contract and there is no minor league season.
certainly sucks to lose solid C depth in a season like this, but that’s just how it has to be.
So far it has been mediocre, at best, aging players opting out. No major losses for the mlb product
Let’s not be too hasty to judge – perhaps Welington has a legitimate beef with the safety protocols
brilliant nickname and clever pun.
Kind of crazy when journeyman catchers are wealthy enough not to go to work
being a workable catcher is like being a backup QB. if you can at least be passable at those positions you can lock in a contract basically every year.
the mike carter
Cause everyone opted out on him. Easy decision.
Pretty straightforward- a minor league contract isn’t worth the risk.
I’ll be very interested in seeing how many of these guys who opt out, in both baseball and basketball, are still on their teams next year. You can say they won’t be punished but…..
Let’s not forget that his action was “limited” by a PED suspension.
Guys who don’t want to get tested regularly are hiding something….
Smart move on his part. Wish him all the best
I am okay with there never being baseball again because that would mean the Nats would be champs forever.
Good, leaves room to try out some eager guys in the minors.