Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported Tuesday that the Minnesota Twins have reached an agreement on a three-year contract with catcher Jason Castro. The deal is said to be worth $24.5 million.
Source: #Twins to sign free-agent catcher Jason Castro.
Source: Castro deal with #Twins will be for three years, more than $24M.
Minnesota Twins Sign Jason Castro
Minnesota was one of six teams rumored to have expressed interest in Castro, who hit 11 homers and drove in 32 runs in 113 games last season with the Houston Astros. The Twins were actively looking for a catcher to replace Kurt Suzuki, who is set to hit the free-agent market and was not considered very successful at throwing out runners attempting to steal.
Castro was a first-round pick by Houston in 2008 and played six seasons with the Astros. Although he isn’t known for his efficiency at the plate, the 29-year-old is well known for his abilities defensively. He’s widely considered to be very good at calling games, as well as framing pitches. According to Baseball Prospectus, Castro was ranked around 11th in framing runs, which was above average in both the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
New Minnesota executives Thad Levine and Derek Falvey wanted a catcher who thrived doing just that, expressing the fact that it would help a pitching staff that struggled last season and saw the Twins lose a franchise-record 103 games. The rotation had an earned run average of 5.08, second-worst in the big leagues behind the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Castro has a career batting average of .232 with 62 home runs and 212 RBI in just over 600 games. His backup for 2017 is most likely going to be John Ryan Murphy. Murphy was with the Twins and Triple-A Rochester after being acquired in an offseason trade that sent Aaron Hicks to the New York Yankees.