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?