The Chicago White Sox have reached an agreement with free-agent catcher Welington Castillo.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Chicago White Sox have reached an agreement with free-agent catcher Welington Castillo on a two-year deal that includes a club option for 2020. Financial particulars of the deal have not yet been released.
The 30-year-old Castillo comes to the White Sox after a very successful season with the Baltimore Orioles that saw him post career-best offensive numbers across the board. Castillo hit .282/.323/.490 with 20 home runs and 53 RBI in 95 games for the Orioles. Those numbers were more than good enough to convince the veteran backstop to pass on his player option for 2018 with the Orioles worth $7 million.
Castillo went to the Orioles with a reputation as a bad defensive catcher based on pitch-framing metrics, but showed marked improvement in that department and led MLB in throwing out 49 percent of attempted stolen bases. The White Sox are betting that his improvements as a receiver are sustainable and not a blip on the radar.
The White Sox continue on their multi-year rebuilding plan, but can afford to take a chance on a mid-range free agent to provide some stability behind the plate. The very forgettable duo of Omar Narvaez and Kevan Smith handled most of the catching duties last season. Smith had one of the worst seasons in league history throwing out runners, catching only eight of 64 basestealers. Castillo isn’t part of the long-term vision for the White Sox, but at the very least provides a more experienced backstop for a promising group of young starters to throw to as they look to establish themselves in the big leagues.