The Cubs announced Tuesday morning the team traded C Welington Castillo to the Seattle Mariners for RHP Yoervis Medina.
Yoervis Medina will report to Triple-A Iowa. Medina has a big arm with a rather concerning strikeout to walk rate for a reliever. Updated 11:05am CDT – According to Jeff Passan, the Cubs are sending Yoervis Medina to Triple-A Iowa “to smooth out his mechanics and try to find the missing 2 mph on his fastball, scouts believe he has closer potential.”
Based on the release, the Cubs did not include any cash in the deal. The Cubs and Welington Castillo avoided arbitration in the off-season and agreed to a $2.1 million salary for the 2015 season.
The Cubs 40-man roster stands at 38 players with Tuesday’s trade. Yoervis Medina slides into the spot occupied by Welington Castillo.
The Cubs have another spot on the 25-man roster to fill. Expect additional roster moves at some point prior to Tuesday’s opener in San Diego.
Javier Baez will reportedly not be called up and will stay with Triple-A Iowa.
Yoervis Medina, 26, has posted a 2.82 ERA (43 earned runs in 137 innings), a 1.34 WHIP and a 3.74 FIP in 141 appearances out of the Mariners bullpen the last three seasons, turning in a 10-9 record with 43 holds and two saves. He has struck out 140 batters with 75 walks in 137 innings while limiting opponents to a .216 batting average, including a .228 mark versus right-handed hitters and a .198 mark versus lefthanders. Medina has held opponents to a .325 on-base percentage and only a .321 slugging percentage, good for just a .646 opponents OPS.
Medina is 6-foot-3, 245-pound right-hander. He broke into the big leagues with the Mariners in 2013 and went 4-6 with one save and a 2.91 ERA (22 earned runs in 68 innings) that included a 1.31 WHIP and 3.86 FIP in 63 relief appearances while ranking second among all American League rookies with 19 holds. Last season, he improved upon those numbers by going 5-3 with 21 holds and a 2.68 ERA (17 earned runs in 57 innings) that included a 1.33 WHIP and 3.45 FIP in 66 relief outings while leading the Mariners and ranking 12th in the league in holds. This year, Medina has gone 1-0 with three holds, one save and a 3.00 ERA (four earned runs in 12 innings) with a 1.50 WHIP and 4.49 FIP in 12 relief outings. Medina walked seven batters with nine strikeouts.
Medina is a native of Puerto Cabello, Venezuela and originally signed with the Mariners as a non-drafted free agent in 2005.
Welington Castillo, 28, departs the Cubs a career .252/.320/.398 hitter (254-for-1,006) with 29 home runs and 110 RBI in 310 games the last six seasons (2010-15). He originally signed with the club as a non-drafted free agent in 2004. Castillo saw action in a career high 113 games in 2013, batting .274/.349/.397 (104-for-380) with eight home runs and 32 RBI, before hitting .237/.296/.389 (90-for-380) with 13 homers and 46 RBI in 110 games last season.
Welington Castillo batted .163/.234/.349 (7-for-43) with two homers and five RBI in 24 games with the Cubs this season.