The Chicago White Sox and veteran catcher Wellington Castillo have agreed to a deal, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is for two years and includes a club option for the 2020 season. Castillo will earn $15 million and the club option is worth $8 million, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Castillo, 30, just finished his best offensive year since he made his debut during the 2010 season. He hit .282/.323/.490 last season with 20 home runs and 53 RBIs in 96 games with the Baltimore Orioles. He had one of the best offensive seasons for a catcher in major league baseball, so it was not a shocker that he was the first catcher to come off the free agency market.
Entering the 2017 season, Castillo had a poor reputation as a catcher. Castillo also turned around his defensive side of the game and his pitch framing numbers unexpectedly improved. He also lead the majors with a 49% caught stealing rate last season. The big question for Castillo entering the 2018 season is seeing if he can maintain his wonderful numbers from the 2017 season. The Orioles used Castillo as their number one catcher last season.
The White Sox who are in desperate need of a starting catcher are the first team this offseason to sign a non-pitcher. The Sox will utilize Castillo as their starting catcher next season. He will be their first reliable starting catcher since Tyler Flowers played in the south side of Chicago in 2015. The Baltimore Orioles declined Castillo's $7 million club option entering this offseason, which is how Castillo ended up on the free agency market.