Astros Signal Jason Castro

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JAN. 22: The Astros have introduced the signing.
JAN. 21, 8:42am: USA Right this moment’s Bob Nightengale tweets that the contract will assure Castro a complete of $7MM. Castro can earn as much as an extra $2MM primarily based on time spent behind the plate in 2021, tweets ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
8:25am: Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle stories that Castro’s contract is definitely a two-year deal.
8:01am: The Astros have agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent backstop Jason Castro, Ken Rosenthal and Jake Kaplan of The Athletic report (through Twitter). The ISE Baseball shopper’s contract is pending a bodily.

The 2 sides have been initially reported to be in talks late in December, however these negotiations slowed as Castro continued to survey the market. Alongside the way in which, the Cubs and the Tigers (managed by Castro’s former skipper, A.J. Hinch) emerged as potential alternate options. Now, nonetheless, a bodily is all that stands in the way in which between Castro and a return to the group that initially chosen him with the No. 10 total draft pick of Stanford again in 2008.
Castro, 33, has been away from the Astros for 4 seasons — most of that point spent with the Twins group. Minnesota signed Castro to a three-year, $24.5MM contract after the 2017 season due largely to his superlative pitch-framing abilities and his knack for drawing walks on the plate. He had a stable 2017 season because the Twins’ main backstop however missed almost the entire 2018 marketing campaign on account of meniscus surgical procedure. He returned in 2019 to have one other productive 12 months whereas splitting time evenly with breakout catcher Mitch Garver.
That robust exhibiting from Garver in ’19 doubtless satisfied the Twins they might transfer on, and Castro landed in Anaheim on a one-year cope with the Angels. He struggled on the plate in a tiny pattern of 92 plate appearances between the Angels and the Padres, who acquired him previous to the Aug. 31 commerce deadline this previous summer season.
All in all, Castro has batted .224/.322/.389 in 848 plate appearances since leaving the Astros — numbers that fall roughly in step with his profession .230/.312/.390 batting line. He’s unlikely to ever hit for a excessive common on account of his strikeout tendencies, however Castro has a profession 10.1 p.c stroll charge (11.7 p.c over the previous 4 years) and has a little bit of pop in his bat (.164 ISO, 26 homers, 43 doubles from 2017-20).
Defensive aptitude has been the driving issue behind Castro’s worth available in the market, although he’s been nearer to common with the glove as he’s moved into his mid-30s and needed to cope with the consequences of that 2018 knee surgical procedure. Castro has been nearly common when it comes to throwing out base thieves within the 4 years since leaving Houston, however his framing numbers have dropped off a bit, extra lately, he’s struggled with regard to blocking pitches within the dust. After all, it’s additionally potential that as he additional distances himself from that knee operation, he’ll regain a few of his prior kind.
In his return to Houston, Castro figures to pair with the right-handed-hitting Martin Maldonado behind the dish, giving supervisor Dusty Baker the chance to play matchups with a pair of stable defenders. Kaplan tweets {that a} straight platoon isn’t doubtless — Maldonado will begin extra typically — though at the very least from an offensive standpoint, such an thought wouldn’t be a foul one. Castro is a profession .195/.262/.291 hitter in opposition to lefties however a much-improved .242/.328/.421 hitter in opposition to righties. Maldonado, in the meantime, carries a 33-point hole in his OPS in opposition to lefties over righties (and a nine-point hole in his wRC+). He’s only a .213/.288/.353 profession hitter in opposition to righties.
Houston could not generate enormous offensive output from its pair of backstops. That’s true of most golf equipment all through the league, nonetheless, and most pairings don’t have the sound defensive observe data that each Castro and Maldonado possess. Apart from — catchers, on the entire, have been about 10 to 15 p.c worse than a league-average hitter over the previous 4 years, so the ’Stros can definitely stay with the extent of offense offered by Castro and Maldonado if each play protection at their sometimes regular ranges.

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