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Welington Castillo, White Sox Agree to 2-Year, $15 Million Contract

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 1, 2017

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 02:  Welington Castillo #29 of the Baltimore Orioles takes a swing during a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 2, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland.  The Blue Jays won 7-2.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Chicago White Sox and veteran catcher Welington Castillo reached an agreement Friday on a two-year contract with a club option for a third season, the team announced

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first provided details of the free-agent signing. Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan reported the two-year contract is worth $15 million guaranteed with a third-year option worth $8 million. 

Castillo spent the 2017 MLB season with the Baltimore Orioles. Although he battled injuries and shared time with Caleb Joseph behind the plate, he still managed to tally a .282/.323/.490 triple-slash line with a career-high 20 home runs in just 96 appearances.

In June, he talked about the difficulties of being a consistent offensive producer while also taking the punishment of playing catcher, per Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun.

"Honestly, I think that I can hit a little bit," Castillo said. "Always, I've been that type of hitter who has just had stuff happen, injuries and stuff out there that made me not perform the right way or be 100 percent.

"But honestly as a catcher, it's hard to perform 100 percent every day because you're sore, you get hit every day, you're so involved in the game. It doesn't mean I don't. I'm not trying to make an excuse or whatever, but it doesn't matter if you're 100 percent or not. I'm going to give everything I've got that day."

The 30-year-old Dominican Republic native previously played for the Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks during a major league tenure that started in 2010.

He's a career .259 hitter with 80 homers in 605 games. He's been more reliable in the power department in recent years, hitting 53 of those long balls since the beginning of the 2015 campaign.

While Castillo's performance at the plate has trended in the right direction, his numbers behind the dish have gone the opposite way.

He's finished with a negative Defensive Runs Saved figure in two of the past three seasons, including a minus-three mark for the 2017 season, per FanGraphs. He also finished 13 runs below average for his pitch framing last year, according to StatCorner.

Ultimately, it's no surprise Castillo drew free-agent interest given his numbers last season and the lack of impact offensive players available at the position. One factor to keep in mind, however, is that he posted a .929 OPS at Camden Yards compared to a .694 mark in road games.

The extreme split brings a little more risk into the equation with the signing for Chicago, but he's still a nice addition given his track record from the past three years. He should slot in as the team's starting catcher ahead of Kevan Smith.

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