The Yankees announced that they have claimed left-hander Matt Gage off waivers, a move which was reported on earlier today. Infielder/outfielder Diego Castillo was designated for assignment in a corresponding move.
Castillo, 26, has had his name on many transactions over the past few years. An amateur signing of the Yankees, he was traded to the Pirates as part of the 2021 Clay Holmes deal. He was traded to the Diamondbacks after the 2022 season and spent the 2023 campaign with that club. But he was designated for assignment last month, going to the Mets and then Yankees on waiver claims. Now he’s been designated for assignment for the third time in just over a month.
He doesn’t have a ton of power but generally fares well at the plate apart from that. Last year, he took 556 trips to the plate at Triple-A, hitting just three home runs. But he drew walks in 17.4% of those plate appearances while striking out at just a 14.2% clip. His .313/.431/.410 batting line translated to a 117 wRC+, indicating he was 17% better than league average overall. His work in the majors hasn’t been as impressive, with Castillo hitting .205/.250/.380 in his 284 plate appearances for a wRC+ of 71.
Defensively, Castillo is capable of moving around quite a bit. He’s spent time at all four infield positions, the outfield corners and has even made a couple of mop-up appearances on the mound. He also has a bit of speed, having stolen 13 bases in Triple-A last year, the third time he’s reached double digits in the minors.
This winter, it seems he has fallen into a bucket of being just good enough to intrigue clubs but not quite good enough to hold a roster spot for very long. The Yanks will now have one week to trade him or pass him through waivers. He still has one option remaining. Between that, his plate discipline and defensive versatility, he may find himself on the move yet again in the coming days. If he were to pass through waivers unclaimed, he would stick with the Yankees as non-roster depth. He doesn’t have three years of MLB service time or a previous career outright, meaning he wouldn’t have the right to elect free agency.