There are at least four teams reportedly interested in Cubs catcher Welington Castillo. The Orioles and Phillies are believed to be two of those teams and according to a report from Bruce Levine, the Cubs and Orioles discussed a deal that would have sent Castillo to Baltimore for lefty Brian Matusz.
Levine reported Tuesday the Orioles had contacted the Cubs about the availability of Welington Castillo. While the Cubs have maintained they are more than willing to start the season with three catchers on the roster, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are believed to be listening to offers for Castillo and would trade him in the right deal.
The Orioles are believed to be looking for a catcher with Matt Wieters set to start the season on the DL and with no timetable for a return Dan Duquette would like a better option than the catchers currently on his roster.
According to Levine’s sources, the Cubs “had no interest in a conversation that would have brought back left-handed reliever Brian Matusz from Baltimore this week.”
Brian Matusz was 2-3 in 63 relief appearances last season. Matusz struck out 53 batters with 17 walks and allowed 51 hits in 51 2/3 innings. Matusz, a one-time top prospect in the Orioles system along with Jake Arrieta, is no longer a starter and has been relegated to the bullpen.
Joe Maddon should be very familiar with Matusz. The Rays beat up Matusz over the course of six games last season (11-for-26, four doubles, three home runs).
This spring, Matusz has allowed one run on seven hits, a home run, with 12 strikeouts and no walks in 11 1/3 innings (five games).
Levine indicated the Cubs feel Welington Castillo is worth more than a relief pitcher like Brian Matusz, who is owed quite a bit of money for this season. Matusz is signed to a $3.2 million contract and has one year of club control before he hits the free agent market following the 2016 season.
Theo Epstein said the Cubs would trade Welington Castillo if the right offer presented itself. And it would have to be a really good offer. According to Levine, the Cubs are looking for starting pitching and think Castillo could be used in a deal to acquire a starter.
Bruce Levine reported Friday, the Cubs “are insistent on getting back top talent for Castillo.”
Welington Castillo has looked very good this spring. And Castillo could finally be developing into the catcher the front office projected him to be when Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer took over baseball operations in 2011.
Welington Castillo Rumors
- Report: Cubs Pursuing Starting Pitching
- Orioles Have Reportedly Contacted the Cubs about Welington Castillo
- Cubs Strongly Leaning Towards Keeping Three Catchers