According to reports, the Houston Astros and Jason Castro are working on a deal that will send the free agent catcher home.
The Houston Astros desperately need depth, and an upgrade, behind the plate. Martin Maldonado and Garrett Stubbs are the only catchers on the Astros’ 40 man roster, with Stubbs holding all of 49 major league plate appearances. Even if the Astros are not expected to be major spenders in free agency, they will still need to upgrade behind the plate.
A move appears as though it will be coming soon. According to reports, the Astros are closing in on a deal with free agent Jason Castro to bring him back to Houston.
Castro has been something of a vagabond over the past few years. After his three year contract with the Twins, he signed a one year deal with the Angels, and was sent to the Padres at the trade deadline last year. Presumably, a return home would give Castro some stability.
He would also serve as a perfect platoon partner to the right handed hitting Maldonado. The left handed hitting Castro has produced a .242/.328/.421 batting line against right handed pitchers, belting 77 homers and 128 doubles in his 2387 plate appearances. As Maldonado has been more effective against left handed pitching, a platoon makes sense.
An All Star in 2013, Castro would be the more offensive side of the platoon. He has hit 88 homers and 157 doubles in his career, producing a respectable 92 OPS+ behind the plate. However, he is not even close to being useful defensively, having cost his teams 21 runs.
Nonetheless, Castro would be a hypothetical upgrade for the Astros. Houston catchers combined to produce a .199/.324/.348 batting line with seven homers and 29 RBI last year, barely adequate production. The platoon of Castro and Maldonado could improve upon that.
The Houston Astros are closing in on a contract with Jason Castro. While he may not be an exciting acquisition, he should still help upgrade the position.