Tap-In Question: Are you on board with the Castillo signing? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Connolly's Tap Room

Tap-In Question: Are you on board with the Castillo signing?


Grab a seat and a beer. I might even mix up a martini with a little Beefeater gin.

I’m allowing you to celebrate in the Tap Room today. Your favorite baseball team now has a starting catcher, it was announced Friday. The Orioles officially signed “Beef” Welington Castillo to a one-year, $6 million deal with a 2018 player option that could push the contract’s worth to $13 million for two years.

Pop the champagne corks. He passed the Orioles’ physical with no controversy.

From a financial standpoint, it seems like a good deal. Castillo, 29, would have made roughly $6 million in arbitration had the Arizona Diamondbacks offered him a contract. The Orioles would have had to dish out more to keep incumbent Matt Wieters, who made $15.8 million last year.

Despite conflicting reports and data, I don’t think Castillo is the defensive player Wieters is. But it could be close (we’ll see in April). And, offensively, their recent numbers are similar.

You will get to yell “Beeeef” whenever Castillo makes a big play at Camden Yards next year. But you’ll have to find the back of the closet for your No. 32 Wieters’ jersey now, and there are plenty of you who bought them over the years. Wieters handled himself well as an ambassador for the Orioles. He certainly will be missed in that aspect. I think he’ll be missed on the field and in the clubhouse, too. Again, we’ll see.

What I want to know is if you are on board with the Castillo signing, knowing that it means the end of Wieters’ tenure. And, also, knowing that defense will be a little overshadowed by offense in the catcher slot in 2017 (at least when Castillo is playing ahead of Caleb Joseph).

Overall, it seems like a solid move to me, both financially and performance-wise. It was a hole that needed to be filled, and executive vice president Dan Duquette did so before Christmas with a player he thinks can outperform Wieters going forward.

Now I want to know what you think.


Tap-In Question: Are you on board with the Welington Castillo signing?



  1. EugeneFreedman

    December 17, 2016 at 7:50 am

    Looks like a great deal financially. Wieters throws better, but neither are top framers/receivers. A short deal allows Cisco to develop without blocking him when he’s ready. It all depends on what they do with the extra cash. If they throw it at Trumbo, this deal is a bust. If they let Trumbo walk, sign another discount player like Chris Carter to DH, and sign a real right fielder with the savings, it’s a great deal. They could also pocket the extra cash and try to sign Machado – I know that’s a near impossibility, but at least there’s false hope to rely upon.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 17, 2016 at 9:16 am

      I agree it will be interesting to see what they do with the money they didn’t spend on a C. But I don’t see the connection w Manny. Like saving some rainwater from the recent downpour and trying to make a lake.

      • EugeneFreedman

        December 17, 2016 at 10:05 pm

        The reason it mildly relates to Machado is how teams structure their payrolls. They assume a certain annual inflation factor – say 5%. This year, they are saving ~$10M compared to Wieters last year. Under the above scenario, they are could pay Carter less than they paid Trumbo last year as well. Carter was estimated to a $6M arbitration contract (before he was non-tendered). That’s $12M. Even if Castillo exercises his option, they could save the same $12 next year as well. That’s enough combined for one year of Machado – presuming it’s a deal that is not flat (like Chris Davis) and one that escalates annually over the course of the deal (similar to Pujols’s or Miguel Cabrera’s contracts). If Castillo opts out Cisco is the catcher and saves another $6M toward the Machado deal. My thought is also to do it like Trout’s deal and buy-out the arbitration years with some extra front-end money, then pay a little less for a few years of free agency, but not a long-time.

  2. DutchDinger

    December 17, 2016 at 9:36 am

    On board and having drinks on the Lido deck with your favourite bartender Isaac.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 17, 2016 at 10:59 am

      Julie the cruise director told me shuffleboard is in an hour.

  3. Eldersburg Enigma

    December 17, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Matt Wieters was a solid backstop, but also one of the most disappointing players to wear an O’s uniform when compared to the outlandish hype that surrounded him coming out of Georgia Tech. “Mauer with Power” was closer to Geronimo Gil with power. And for years, he was a far better hitter right-handed and I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t consider giving up switch-hitting. But suddenly, in 2016 he was awful hitting right-handed. The money isn’t worth it for an average catcher with a poor OBP. But it’s even funnier that someone suggested Chris Carter. This team can further its dominance in the strikeout market! Castillo is fine.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 17, 2016 at 11:00 am

      Yeah. Still don’t see Carter. But as Buck says, “never say never.”

  4. natsidis

    December 17, 2016 at 9:39 am

    No, not on board. Wieters had a great handling and relationship with the pitching staff. Baltimore should have tried signing and and work in Sisco

    • Dan Connolly

      December 17, 2016 at 11:06 am

      I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. Sisco isn’t yet 22. He has played 4 games at AAA. His D is behind his O. There’s no reason to rush him. He needs to improve defensively and get confidence in those areas. Catching is a different animal. Always D first. And there’s so much to learn.

  5. OsFanStuckInNY

    December 17, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Well-structured deal. If Castillo takes the option AND Cisco is ready for full-time in 2018, should be able to trade Castillo — or Joseph.
    Overall, I expect perhaps less from the C next year, but potential for slightly better. I don’t think the bottom line — wins — will be different by more than a game or two either way.
    Biggest question which no one has addressed: how is he at calling games?!? Or will the dugout do that?

    • Dan Connolly

      December 17, 2016 at 11:07 am

      That’s hard to quantify. I’ve heard mixed things. He’ll be doing it. So we’ll get a good sense by May or so.

  6. Boog Robinson Robinson

    December 17, 2016 at 10:43 am

    I’m too busy sobbing over my virtual beer here to even think about the new guy … I miss Matt already … How could they do this?

    Hic. Heck … maybe I should graduate to that Beefeater you mentioned Dan…. Hic

    • Dan Connolly

      December 17, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Drink your feelings, Boog. It’s ok, big fella.

      • Bancells Moustache

        December 17, 2016 at 2:51 pm

        Don’t take this the Wrong Way Dan,but I skipped the entire article just to read Wieters Super-fan number one aka Boog’s feelings on this.

  7. tater tots

    December 17, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Love the deal, but will miss Wieters. Classy ball player and consummate pro and good home grown guy to root for. I hope Matt has a good sit down with Boras and grills him on how he ended up here. Boras botched this. Could’ve made a longer term deal a few years ago but applied his one-rule fits all and wanted Matt to get to FA. Big mistake.

  8. bigdaddydk

    December 18, 2016 at 6:50 am

    I’ve always like Wieters. He’s a classy guy and was a credit to the team in that regard. I thought he was on the verge of a breakout season with the bat when he went down for TJ surgery. I was really hoping that he’d reach the potential that had been hyped up as he was on the way up. However, all things being equal, and looking at Wieters and Castillo statistically they really are, it’s a sound financial decision for the club. I just could not see the team jumping to the asking price for what he’s actually produced when there was a comparable replacement on the market.

    The one thing that has made me really like this deal is how Castillo fared against lefties recently as compared to Wieters. The O’s have been abysmal against LHP, and getting a bat in there that can have a little more success should help. I don’t see this being a big shift in wins and losses, but more maintaining the status quo on the field for less money.

  9. Camden Bird

    December 19, 2016 at 5:05 am

    Plus, whenever Castillo gets into a slump, we can all ask, “Where’s the beef?”

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