Chicago Cubs News

What’s next for Welington Castillo after the signing of David Ross?

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On Friday, according to reports, veteran catcher David Ross completed a deal to sign with the Chicago Cubs and, while that was widely expected ever since Jon Lester decided to join the team, the focus will now shift to Welington Castillo who’s suddenly the “third-wheel” in the catching ranks.

Ross might not bring a ton of offensive production but he – together with Miguel Montero, who was acquired earlier this month from the Arizona Diamondbacks – will add a ton of value in terms of defense and pitch framing, two areas where Castillo was among the worst catchers in the league. With a plethora of position players that are capable of driving the ball out of the ballpark at any moment, there’s no doubt that the Cubs are looking to take a more defensive stance in terms of their catching.

The arrival of Ross, the earlier waiver claim of Ryan Lavarnway and the previous trade for Montero certainly seems to make Castillo expendable. Even though Theo Epstein said the 27-year-old is “one of the best 20 catchers in the Majors right now,” he has been receiving calls inquiring for him ever since the arrival of Montero. The addition of the former Red Sox backstop will only add more fuel to these rumors and it might not be strange to see him leave Wrigley Field in the coming days or weeks.

Castillo has certainly shown he’s capable of start at the big league level. He has been the team’s starter the past two seasons – playing 113 and 110 games, respectively – and while he hasn’t been very consistent, his numbers aren’t bad by any means. His 2014 year got off to a slow start but he finished with a .237/296/389 slash line to go along with 13  home runs and 46 RBIs. The last two figures were career-highs and it seems as if he could put up even better numbers if he finds any sort of consistency throughout the course of an entire season.

Will he find that in a Cubs uniform? It remains to be seen but after today’s moves, it seems as he might not wear the blue pinstripes in the near future.

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