As the non-tender deadline passed, teams around baseball announced the players who they would not be offering arbitration to with several surprises around the league. Perhaps the most surprising of which was Welington Castillo, the former catcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks who had put up a solid season behind the plate.
Since 2013, Castillo has the 7th highest fWAR among major league catchers with 8.5, averaging just over two wins per season. Over that time, Castillo has slashed .254/.317/.415 with 54 HR over 446 games.
Castillo will turn 30 next April and he had been projected to make just under $6 million in arbitration. He has been a below average defender throughout his career but passable and he’s above average hitting catcher which has given him his value throughout his career.
The Rays are in desperate need for catching help as their current top three are Curt Casali, Luke Maile, and Justin O’Conner. Maile and Casali both finished the year with OPS around .610, while Castillo came in at a highly welcomed .745. According to Marc Topkin, the Rays are interested and expected to aggressively pursue Castillo.
Also, for the Rays activities at the deadline, they decided to non-tender former top prospect, Ryan Brett, whose health has cost him dearly. The Rays also announced they have hired former Ray, Cole Figueroa to the front office as a Baseball Development Assistant.