According to a report from David Kaplan, the Phillies and a few other teams are interested in Welington Castillo and Travis Wood. Kaplan expects the Cubs to deal Castillo and possibly Wood before Spring Training begins.
The Phillies were one of the teams that showed interest in Welington Castillo and Travis Wood during the Winter Meetings. The Giants and Rangers were among the teams at the time that contacted the Cubs about Travis Wood. Both teams have since filled their pitching voids and are not believed to be looking to add a starting pitcher.
Multiple teams have been connected to Welington Castillo. But the Rangers and Diamondbacks are believed to be out of the market for a catcher. At one point the Dodgers, Padres and Red Sox had shown some degree of interest in Castillo.
The Cubs are not in a rush to move Castillo. The front office has said they are willing to begin Spring Training with him on the roster.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have had conversations with teams about Castillo. After acquiring Dexter Fowler from the Astros, Hoyer admitted the front office “has not had any real compelling trade discussions on Wely at this point.” The front office was ready at the time to “re-engage talks.”
The Cubs could move Travis Wood and Welington Castillo to free up payroll.
By agreeing to terms on one-year contracts with Wood and Castillo, teams know exactly how much both players will cost to add to their roster. The Cubs avoided arbitration with Wood by agreeing to a one-year, $5.685 million contract. Castillo, in his first year of arbitration eligibility, agreed to terms on a one-year deal for $2.1 million. Wood has one more year of club control after this season and Castillo has two years of control left before he would be eligible for free agency.
If the Cubs could trade both players, the sunk cost of their contracts ($7.785 million) could be used to address other areas of the team.
The rumors about Travis Wood have been rather quiet since December. But it’s believed the Cubs have been listening to offers for the southpaw.
The front office has built depth for the backend of the rotation and at the catcher position.
Travis Wood is expected to compete with Tsuyoshi Wada, Jacob Turner, Felix Doubront and Edwin Jackson for the fifth spot in the rotation. And beyond those five pitchers, the Cubs also have Dallas Beeler and Eric Jokisch on the 40-man roster.
Welington Castillo appears to be third on the team’s depth chart at catcher behind Miguel Montero and David Ross and ahead of Taylor Teagarden and Rafael Lopez. As the roster is currently constructed, those five catchers will be on the field for the first workout of the spring on Feb. 20.
It is shaping up to be an interesting and busy end to what’s been a very good off-season for the Chicago Cubs.