With the recent acquisition of catcher Hank Conger from the Los Angeles Angels, the Houston Astros may look to trade starting catcher Jason Castro, as Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe speculates that they may listen to trade offers. Carfado also notes that the Boston Red Sox could be a potential landing point for the 27 year old backstop.
Jason Castro is currently entering his second year of arbitration eligibility and he was paid $2.45 million last season. MLB Trade Rumors projects that he could make up to $3.9 million when he goes through arbitration this winter, which is still a decent salary for a catcher with starting ability, even if he is lacking the offensive numbers.
During the 2014 campaign, Castro failed to duplicate his above-average numbers from 2013. In 120 games played in 2013, Castro hit .276/.350/.485 with 18 home runs and 56 runs batted in. Also, Castro earned his first All Star Game appearance, while putting up a .835 OPS, 130 OPS+ and a 4.3 bWAR.
In 126 games this season, however, Castro’s numbers dropped dramatically each of the slash categories. In 2014, he slashed .222/.286/.366 with 14 home runs and 56 runs batted in. His other numbers also faltered, as he produced a .651 OPS, 83 OPS+ and a 1.7 bWAR. His strikeout rate also went up as he struck out 29.5% of the time he went up to the plate.
Where Castro ends up next season could majorly depend on where free agent catcher Russell Martin lands. According to Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago, Martin is mulling multiple offers, as teams that have showed interest in the catcher are Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Any team that ends up missing on Martin could view Castro as a back up plan, as he still has the ability to put up decent numbers.