Yesterday, we talked about the lack of specific Welington Castillo trade rumors despite the fact that everyone knows the Chicago Cubs will very likely trade him before Opening Day.
… aaaaand, ta da! A Welington Castillo trade rumor of sorts.
Jack Magruder writes for Fox Sports Arizona that the Diamondbacks are still looking to pick up a catcher to replace the guy they traded to the Cubs, Miguel Montero.* Industry sources mention Castillo and former Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro as possibilities for the D-Backs. The funny thing about Navarro, other than the Cubs connection, is that he is very much in the same place as Castillo, on a team with too many catchers, and he’s likely the odd-man-out. The slight difference, of course, is that it’s a little easier for the Blue Jays to bite the bullet and carry a third catcher because of the DH spot.
Castillo, 27, is a little over three years younger than Navarro, and will make about half of the $5 million Navarro is set to make in 2015. Castillo also comes with three total years of control. For a team in Arizona’s position, you’d think he would be the more attractive target of the two.
While we’ve discussed the possibility that Castillo may net the Cubs an interesting prospect or two, there’s also the possibility that the Cubs could try and pick up an outfielder in a Castillo deal. And it just so happens that the Diamondbacks have a surplus of outfielders. We discussed one of them earlier this offseason, in David Peralta, who is something of an interesting roll-of-the-dice type, with intriguing upside. I’m not sure that’s what the Cubs would be looking for in a Castillo deal, but a 27-year-old with almost no service time, a lefty bat, offensive upside, and the ability to play anywhere in the outfield? Like I said, I’m intrigued.
If not Peralta, there are other interesting outfield options on the Diamondbacks, who have all of Peralta, Mark Trumbo, Yasmany Tomas (who might play third), Ender Inciarte, A.J. Pollock, Cody Ross, and Socrates Brito (the name!) on the 40-man roster. Obviously Pollock’s the guy you’d want to target, but I’m trying to be realistic with the Peralta discussion. I can’t see the Diamondbacks moving Pollock right now short of a huge haul.
In any case, this is not to get too far down the path of trying to put together a specific Diamondbacks deal for Castillo. It’s just a reminder that he does have value, and there are teams out there looking for catching.
*(If you’re wondering why the Diamondbacks would trade Montero to the Cubs only to later want Castillo, rather than just working out a swap at the time, it’s because the Cubs hadn’t yet signed David Ross back when they acquired Montero. So, even if the Diamondbacks raised the issue of getting Castillo back then – I’m sure it was floated – the Cubs almost certainly would have declined to involve Castillo in the deal at the time.)
On the flip side of there being a team considering Castillo, there may be one other team out there that isn’t anymore. The Orioles, what with Matt Wieters recovering from elbow surgery and Nick Hundley headed off to Colorado, are pretty clearly in the market for a catcher. Today, according to Dan Connolly, the O’s ink J.P. Arencibia to a minor league deal.
Does that mean they wouldn’t consider Castillo? Well, as a rule, you don’t want to see any minor league signing as an indication that a team wouldn’t want to pick up a clear big league talent like Castillo. But the Orioles do now have a ton of fringy catching options that they might decide is enough to tide them over until Wieters’ arm is fully ready to make the necessary throws to return to full-time catching duty (which could happen fairly early in the year).
I guess we can still keep an eye on the Orioles, but I’m thinking they may have just bought themselves enough cover. They still need to add a bat or two, though.