Signing with the Astros would be a homecoming of sorts for Castro, who began his career with the franchise after it used the 10th overall pick on him in 2008. He made his major league debut two years and later and became a regular for the Astros, with whom he batted .232/.309/.390 with 62 home runs in 2,266 plate appearances through 2016. That doesn’t look like a great stat line on paper, but with a 94 wRC+, Castro was an effective offensive player relative to his position. Castro combined that with well-regarded work behind the plate, where he has consistently earned praise for his pitch-framing skills.
Since his initial Astros tenure concluded, the 33-year-old Castro has played with the Twins, Angels and Padres. He inked a three-year, $24.5MM contract with Minnesota before 2017, and aside from an injury-shortened campaign in 2018, Castro gave the team solid production. Castro moved on last offseason on a one-year, $6.85MM guarantee with the Angels, who wound up sending him to the Padres before the August trade deadline. All told, Castro hit .188/.293/.375 with two home runs in 92 plate appearances between the two teams.
If he goes back to Houston, the left-handed Castro would team with righty-hitting Martin Maldonado to form a platoon at catcher. Garrett Stubbs, who has totaled a mere 49 PA in the bigs, is the only other catcher on the Astros’ 40-man roster.