Catcher Welington Castillo made a decision earlier this offseason that his solid overall season in 2017 would make him worth more on the open market than the $7 million player option he held with the Orioles for 2018.
So, he rolled the dice, declined the option and became a free agent.
And, according to various reports Friday, the slight gamble paid off as Castillo agreed to a two-year, $15 million contract with the Chicago White Sox that includes an $8 million option for 2020.
Castillo, 30, hit a career-best 20 homers while batting .282 in 365 plate appearances with the Orioles last year. He also set his career-high for a full season by throwing out 49 percent of would-be basestealers.
The Orioles signed Castillo to a one-year, $6 million deal (with the player option) last December after Castillo was non-tendered by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Castillo lost some time last year due to injuries, but for the most part turned in a solid season. With a strong second half, the Orioles expected Castillo to become a free agent this winter.
And though they appreciated his services, the club seems content with Caleb Joseph and rookie Chance Sisco as its primary catching options for 2018. Although, the Orioles could add a veteran catcher to serve as a backup in case Sisco is not ready defensively for the majors at the start of 2018.
The Athletic first reported news of the signing and Yahoo Sports added contract details.