The Orioles announced this afternoon that reliever Anthony Castro has gone unclaimed on waivers and been sent outright to Triple-A Norfolk. The right-hander has previously cleared outright waivers in his career, giving him the right to refuse the assignment and elect minor league free agency.
It’s likely the 27-year-old will indeed set out onto the open market in search of a new opportunity. Castro never suited up at the big league level with the Orioles, with Baltimore nabbing him off waivers from the Guardians in early September. He spent the final month of the season on optional assignment to Norfolk, making eight appearances with the Tides without getting an MLB look. Baltimore designated him for assignment last week to free a 40-man spot for catcher Anthony Bemboom, who otherwise would’ve qualified for minor league free agency.
Castro did make 13 MLB outings with Cleveland this year, but the results weren’t what the club envisioned when they acquired him in an Opening Day swap with the Blue Jays. Castro allowed 15 runs (11 earned) in 13 1/3 innings, surrendering five home runs while walking ten batters. He averaged 94.8 MPH on his four-seam and 84.4 MPH on a slider that served as his primary pitch, but the home runs and control issues plagued him at the big league level. He only surrendered two longballs in 38 innings of Triple-A work this year, but he walked an untenable 15.4% of batters faced there.
The control issues were worrisome enough Castro went unclaimed on waivers, but he’s likely to find some minor league offers this winter (assuming he indeed elects free agency). He’s punched out more than a quarter of opponents in 39 career big league innings, and he owns a 3.19 ERA through 48 Triple-A frames. The Venezuela native figures to get a Spring Training opportunity heading into 2023.