Welington Castillo is scheduled to attend the convention this weekend while not seeming to fit in the Cubs plans moving forward with the additions the front office made this winter. Castillo will garner a lot more attention and field questions he hasn’t had to answer in the past about his future.
The Cubs are reportedly not in a hurry to trade Welington Castillo. He is arbitration eligible for the first time, under team control for two years beyond the upcoming season and unless something changes in the next four days he will exchange salary arbitration numbers with the Cubs. And it’s possible the team and Castillo could come to an agreement on a contract for 2015.
The Diamondbacks are one of the teams that have been linked to Castillo since the Winter Meetings a month ago. The Phillies, Padres, Nationals, Red Sox, Rangers and Dodgers reportedly contacted the Cubs, but those teams have not been mentioned in regards to Castillo in the New Year.
A report from FOX Sports Arizona last week connected the Diamondbacks to the Cubs for Welington Castillo and to the Blue Jays for Dioner Navarro. Dave Stewart is looking for an everyday catcher and has been since he traded Miguel Montero to the Cubs.
The Cubs were reportedly not ready to discuss trading Castillo while the two teams tried to hammer out a deal for Montero. But with David Ross on the roster, the Cubs are believed to be listening to offers for Castillo.
Dave Stewart recently admitted to Nick Piecoro he has “not made a whole lot of headway” with adding a catcher. Stewart indicated teams that he’s spoken with are asking a lot and the Diamondbacks are not willing to part with the players it would take to add another catcher to its roster with big league experience. Right now, Arizona has one catcher in Tuffy Gosewisch that has caught games in the majors.
Stewart explained to Piecoro, “Without giving up something that’s going to cost us a player that we don’t want to give away, we don’t have a whole lot of motion yet.”
Jon Paul Morosi reported Sunday night the Diamondbacks are “working hard to add a catcher.” Morosi also confirmed the reports from FOX Sports Arizona and Nick Piecoro that the Diamondbacks have had discussions about acquiring Dioner Navarro and Welington Castillo.
The Cubs are looking to add depth to the outfield and is believed to be looking for a left-handed hitting centerfielder. Bruce Levine has consistently reported the Cubs could use Castillo in a deal for an outfielder despite the fact opinions around the league vary on Castillo’s value. Castillo has the tools to be a very good catcher in the big leagues but he’s not taken the steps forward as a receiver the past two years the front office thought he would.
If the Diamondbacks and Cubs are still discussing a deal for Welington Castillo, Arizona has two left-handed hitting outfielders that Jon Paul Morosi has said is available.
Morosi reported Monday that the Orioles “have inquired about Diamondbacks outfield depth.” Dan Duquette would like to add a left-handed hitting outfielder and has been pushing to sign free agent Colby Rasmus. Duquette has apparently talked to Stewart, who has lefty hitting David Peralta and Ender Inciarte on his roster, as well in his attempts to acquire an outfielder.
The Diamondbacks are also “open to adding another starting pitcher” according to Morosi due to the lack of pitchers on the roster with more than 120 innings under their belt last season.
As ESPN Chicago reported last week, the Cubs could begin Spring Training with four catchers on the 40-man roster and see how the exhibition season unfolds before moving Castillo. With Castillo out of minor league options coupled with very little position flexibility it’s hard to see the team beginning camp, much less the season, with Castillo on the roster.
A package that includes Welington Castillo for a lefty hitting outfielder or a lefty reliever would seem to be the best course of action for Castillo and the Cubs.