Welington Castillo put together a solid if unspectacular season for the Diamondbacks in 2016. The 14 home runs were the second most in a season for his career, and the 68 RBI were a new career high. Fantasy owners were probably hoping for even more in the power department after Castillo blasted six home runs in April, but his pace cooled. Castillo will replace Matt Wieters behind the plate in Baltimore after signing with the Orioles. He may also see some designated hitter opportunities on days where Caleb Joseph takes over behind the plate.
Castillo will play for the Dominican Republic in next month's World Baseball Classic, Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports. The Orioles' new catcher was a surprise inclusion on the Dominican Republic roster that was announced Wednesday. Castillo, who signed a one-year deal worth $6 million with a player option in 2018, must now grow comfortable with the club's pitchers on a shortened timetable. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training early next week, with the first workout on February 14. But Castillo will only have a couple weeks to get acquainted with O's pitchers before leaving for the national team. This development is more likely to have a fantasy impact on the team's pitching staff than it will on Castillo.
Castillo agreed to a one-year deal with a player option for a second year with the Orioles on Wednesday, Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball reports. The deal is worth $6 million in the first year and $7 million for the option year, per Heyman. Castillo will replace Matt Wieters behind the plate for the Orioles after getting non-tendered by the Diamondbacks, moving from one homer-friendly park to another at Camden Yards. The 29-year-old posted solid numbers for a catcher in 2016, slashing .264/.322/.423 with 14 home runs and 68 RBI, but that represented a small downtick in power from his 2015 season. He will also likely see some designated hitter opportunities on days where Caleb Joseph takes over behind the plate.
The Diamondbacks declined to tender Castillo a contract Friday, making him a free agent, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports. With Castillo non-tendered, that leaves Oscar Hernandez and Chris Herrmann as the only catchers on the Diamondbacks' 40-man roster. Castillo might have received close to $6 million through the arbitration process following a 2016 season in which he hit .264/.322/.423. He packs good power for a catcher and is a plus player behind the plate, so he should land comfortably with another organization.
Castillo is out of the lineup Sunday against the Padres. Castillo will end his 2016 campaign with two consecutive days off, enabling Tuffy Gosewisch to get a turn behind the plate. While the 29-year-old Castillo didn't show quite as much power as the season before, he upped his batting average from .237 to .264 and still finished with respectable totals of 14 homers and 68 RBI in his 457 plate appearances.
Castillo is out of Saturday's lineup against the Padres, MLB.com's Steve Gilbert reports. This will be the second time in the last three games that Castillo has been excluded from the lineup. Oscar Hernandez will get the start behind the dish and hit eighth.