Welington Castillo is in camp with the Cubs and the team is prepared to begin the season with him on the roster. But Castillo could be traded before the end of Spring Training and according to Nick Cafardo teams are showing interest in the 27-year old catcher.
Nick Cafardo did not mention which teams have shown interest in Castillo. The report in Cafardo’s Sunday Baseball Notes column indicated “it’s too early in spring for a deal.” Once the exhibition starts scouts will start filing their reports and the conversations should increase on Castillo.
The Phillies are the only team that has been connected to Castillo of late. The Diamondbacks, Red Sox, Padres and Rangers reportedly showed interest in Castillo during the off-season after the Cubs acquired Miguel Montero and signed David Ross.
Welington Castillo addressed his situation with the Cubs when he reported to Mesa. Castillo does not want to be traded and would rather stay with the organization that signed him when he was 17 years old. Castillo took responsibility for his performance last year by saying he put too much pressure on himself.
Castillo did not take the steps forward in his development, either offensively or defensively, last year the front office thought he would. After hitting .288/.388/.475 with eight doubles and six home runs for a .863 OPS over his final 44 games of the 2013 season while showing progress as a receiver, Castillo played in 110 games last season and batted .237/.296/.389 with 19 doubles, 13 home runs and a .686 OPS.
Joe Maddon has been happy with what he’s seen from Montero, Ross and Castillo. Maddon said it wouldn’t be impossible for the Cubs to carry three catchers on the roster but it would require some creativity. When Maddon spoke with Castillo, he told him that the roster was not set and anything could happen before Opening Day.
The Sun-Times indicated 11 days ago that the Cubs have talked to multiple teams about Castillo, including the Phillies. The front office is not in a rush to move Castillo and is willing to hold on to him in order to maximize his value and the team’s return.
Theo Epstein addressed Castillo’s status last week and Epstein left open the possibility of Castillo being on the Cubs’ active roster on Opening Night. Epstein pointed to the depth Castillo gives the team right now in the event of an injury during Spring Training. Epstein said he was “open to the possibility of a trade to put him [Castillo] in a good position to go out and have a leading role on a club and also benefit the organization.”
Nick Cafardo reported Welington Castillo will likely be dealt before the end of Spring Training. And some think he could be used as part of a package to add a bigger piece to the Cubs puzzle.