Chicago Cubs talking Welington Castillo with Texas Rangers?


With just a few months until Spring Training action opens up at Cubs Park in Arizona, the Chicago Cubs’ roster could still see a number of shake-ups in the final stretch of winter. According to CBS Chicago’s Bruce Levine, the Cubs are ready to trade catcher Welington Castillo – which makes sense given the team’s acquisitions of David Ross and Miguel Montero this offseason – as is pointed out by Levine.

"“The Cubs have made it known that Welington Castillo, their full-time catcher for the past two seasons, is available in the right trade. He’s been made expendable with Chicago’s trade for Miguel Montero and its soon-to-be-announced signing of David Ross."

There remains no rush to move Castillo, but that said, carrying a third catcher seems like a waste of resources, especially when so many clubs are needing a reliable backstop heading into 2015. Last season, the Cubs’ backstop regressed from his breakout 2013 campaign when he batted .274/.349/.397 in a career-high 113 games, but managed to set new career-bests in both home runs (13) and runs batted in (46).

One possible trade partner for Chicago is the Texas Rangers. The Rangers are interested in trading for Castillo, according to View From The Bleachers.

In 110 games last season, the 27-year old catcher hit .237/.296/.389 with the aforementioned 13 home runs and 46 RBI. Castillo started 103 games in 2014 and compiled a .993 fielding percentage. He also finished with a caught stealing percentage of 32.9 and a 4.21 catcher’s earned run average.

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Castillo is one of the more underrated and consistent catchers in the league. He is also highly respected in the clubhouse, despite his struggles behind the dish – at least when measured using advanced defensive metrics that tally aspects such as pitch framing.

As Levine mentioned, it is irrefutable that Chicago does not need three catchers on their roster after upgrading the position with both Montero and Ross. Therefore, this would be the perfect opportunity to enhance another position.

Texas enters 2015 following a horrendous past season in which the team won just 67 games and finished last in the AL West, thanks to a bevy of injuries that plagued some of the team’s top stars – including Yu Darvish and Prince Fielder.

The Rangers’ starting catcher Robinson Chirinos hit just. 239 with 40 RBI, and backup Tomas Telis hit .250 in 18 games played. The team would no doubt like to strengthen and add depth to its catching situation ahead of next season, when the club will look to bounce back and reclaim a spot in the top of the division.

Next: Five potential partners in a Welington Castillo trade