The Los Angeles Angels have again dipped into free agency to address a deficiency on their roster. The Halos and catcher Jason Castro have agreed to a one-year contract worth $6.85 million, reports ESPN's Jeff Passan. The team has not confirmed the signing.
Castro, 32, hit .232/.332/.435 with 13 home runs in 79 games as what amounted to Mitch Garver's platoon partner with the Twins last year. He has long been regarded as a strong defensive catcher who consistently rates well as a pitch-framer. Castro is a significant framing upgrade over Anaheim's incumbent backstops:
- Castro in 2019: plus-3.2 framing runs
- Angels catchers in 2019: minus-5.0 framing runs
Anthony Bemboom and Max Stassi were the only catchers on the Angels' 40-man roster, so it was an obvious area of need. They're likely to pair Castro and Stassi, two former Astros, behind the plate in 2020. Those two will help the club's still questionable pitching staff. They can steal borderline strikes with their framing.
The Angels signed Anthony Rendon and added Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran to their rotation earlier this offseason. It is likely they will call up top prospect Jo Adell at some point early next year -- -- at which point their lineup will look something like this:
- 1B Tommy La Stella
- CF Mike Trout
- 3B Anthony Rendon
- DH Shohei Ohtani/Albert Pujols
- LF Justin Upton
- SS Andrelton Simmons
- 2B David Fletcher
- C Jason Castro
- RF Jo Adell
Castro figures to be the club's final notable position player addition. They could still use another starter to pair with Bundy, Teheran, and Andrew Heaney, and bullpen help is another priority. According to Cot's Baseball Contracts, the Angels are roughly $19.5 million under the $208 million luxury tax threshold, so they still have some money to spend.
Robinson Chirinos (No. 30) is the only unsigned catcher on our top 50 list..