Injury concerns and the looming of a big contract are amongst the reasons Matt Wieters is unlikely to re-sign with the O’s. Caleb Joseph is only as good as his current role; a backup. So, the Orioles had to go out and get a starter.
Welington Castillo is the new catcher in Baltimore coming from Arizona on a 1-year $6 million deal with a player option for 2018. He too has dealt with some injuries, but is decently productive when healthy. Considering his productivity, $6 million is a bargain.
Castillo is worthy of saving around 5 runs a year defensively behind the plate. He also throws out roughly 32% of potential base stealers every year (league average is 28%). Other than his arm, his plate framing is just about average. And his game calling has given him a career catcher’s ERA of 4.46. However, his bat makes up for some of that slack.
2016 saw Castillo collect his second highest slugging percentage of his career at a mark of .423. His 24 doubles and 14 homers helped give him an isolated power number of .159 (average is .140, ISO measures a player’s raw power). Although his 2016 offensive WAR was only 1.6, he was hitting in the NL. Playing in the AL East with his home games at Camden Yards should do nothing but increase his offensive productivity.
He and Caleb Joseph will be a good enough duo to keep the O’s at a competitive level. Considering the lack of major league catching talent today, getting Castillo for $6 million is a good signing for Baltimore. Who knows, maybe Welington will have a breakout campaign. Nelson Cruz and Mark Trumbo did on one year deals in Baltimore.