Welington Castillo: Is Cubs’ asking price too high for Diamondbacks?


With just over a month until the Chicago Cubs report to Spring Training in Arizona, backstop Welington Castillo is still in blue and white – despite the team’s acquisitions of both Miguel Montero and David Ross earlier this offseason.

Now, a report has surfaced that the Arizona Diamondbacks, a team with a need behind the dish, are not keen on the asking prices for a number of catchers around the league. First-year general manager Dave Stewart, who had previously stated that the team would need to acquire another player behind the dish, told reporters recently that his team would not give up talent in return for a new catcher.

"“We feel that offensively we’re going to be decent enough that we can give away some offense at a position or maybe even a position or two,” Stewart said. “If (the right deal) comes our way, it comes our way. But I’m not going to give away a player that we hold in high regard to get a catcher.”"

The Cubs, who have a clear surplus behind the dish with three big league catchers on the roster, will almost undoubtedly deal one of the three ahead of Opening Day – with the likeliest candidate being Castillo. Arizona, on the other hand, has a pair of catchers on their big league roster – last year’s back-up option to Montero, Tuffy Gosewisch, and a little-known prospect, Oscar Hernandez, who spent 2014 in the low levels of the Minors.

According to Stewart, teams are asking for Arizona’s “top guys,” –  and he believes this is because opposing front offices know the level of weakness his team has behind the plate. The Diamondbacks, he said, are comfortable with the current make-up of the team, which, I personally, find hard to believe. Admittedly, the Arizona GM said he and his team have not made a great deal of progress as of yet.

"“We’ve not made a whole lot of headway in that area yet,” Stewart said. “Without really giving up something that’s going to cost us a player that we don’t want to give away, we don’t have a whole lot of motion yet.”"

Last season, the Cubs primarily relied on Castillo behind the dish. After a breakout campaign, his batting line took a step backward in 2014, but he set new career-highs in both home runs (13) and runs batted in (46). Under team control through 2018, the Dominican Republic native was once regarded as a staple in Chicago, but this offseason has changed that outlook a great deal following the team’s moves.

Last season, Gosewich had just 129 at-bats at the big league level with Arizona, batting just .225. Hernandez, just 21 years old, failed to even crack a .250 clip with the Low-A level in the Midwest League.

Next: Cubs make series of roster depth moves