According to Ken Rosenthal on The Athletic, 31-year-old catcher Welington Castillo has signed a two-year contract with a club option for a third with the Chicago White Sox. The deal is worth $15 million guaranteed, with an $8 million option for 2020, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.
Castillo was signed by the Orioles in 2017 for one year and $6 million with a club option for a second year at $7 million, which he declined. Castillo was more than advertised in 2017, as he had an above-average year offensively and an improved year defensively for the Orioles.
He batted .282/.323/.490 with 20 home runs in 96 games with a 113 wRC+. Castillo’s wRC+ number placed him seventh among catchers with a minimum of 350 plate appearances. He was one of the Orioles most consistent offensive threats.
With the glove, Castillo previously had a questionable defensive reputation; however, he led the big leagues with a 49 percent caught-stealing rate with the Orioles in 2017 and also had an unexpected turnaround in his framing numbers from 2016. Jumping from -9.4 framing runs to -0.9, Castillo made a rather visible effort to help his pitchers out. The White Sox are counting on his improved defense to continue and to only get stronger.
Castillo will give the White Sox’ up-and-coming core of young pitchers an experienced receiver behind the plate. He will also help to solidify the offense and provide much needed pop from the catching position.