welington castillo featureIt’s pretty quiet on the Welington Castillo front, even though we can confidently surmise that, after the Cubs added a starting catcher (Miguel Montero) and a back-up catcher (David Ross), the Cubs will be trading Castillo at some point before the season starts. It’s simply not plausible to carry three catchers on a National League roster unless at least one of them can play another position (nope), or unless you’re going to go with a six-man bullpen (seriously doubt it).*

There’s really no rush to move Castillo immediately, though. The push to make deals that comes in December is in part tied to the cascading effect (if you don’t make Move A right now, you lose the opportunity to make Move B). The catching market is incredibly thin, and the Cubs can afford to take their time and try to get as much value as possible. Even as the Cubs looked to make upgrades behind the plate, Castillo is still a very good, young player with upside.

Also, it remains very possible that the Cubs are weighing their return options on Castillo (prospect(s)? big league outfielder?) against their options in the free agent (Colby Rasmus?) and trade (Ben Zobrist?) markets. There is no sense in trading Castillo for a marginal big league outfielder if you’re going to pick up a bat another way, and would have then been better off dealing Castillo for prospect(s).



Perhaps we’ll get clarity soon, with the Cubs needing to open up a 40-man spot for newly-signed outfielder Chris Denorfia. If that doesn’t come by way of a Castillo deal, though – it’s not like the Cubs are going to rush to dump Castillo now just to open a 40-man spot – I expect rumors about Castillo to pop back up periodically throughout January.

If this extends into February, you might start to hear some stray comments about the possibility of carrying three catchers – things about other versatile players on the roster, about a smaller bullpen this year, and about catching depth – but I still don’t see any realistic scenario where the Cubs actually break camp with three catchers on the 25-man roster and just three other positional players on the bench.

*(And, yes, in case you were wondering, Castillo is out of minor league options. .)




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