The San Diego Padres have acquired catcher Jason Castro from the Los Angeles Angels. The news comes as the Padres continue to make moves to maintain their position in the heated National League West. The team recently traded for Trevor Rosenthal from the Kansas City Royals but this adds another layer of talent to an already-exciting club. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the move Sunday afternoon. The return for Castro is relief pitcher Gerardo Reyes.
The Padres are sending reliever Gerardo Reyes to the Angels in the Jason Castro trade, as @AJCassavell said. So, since yesterday, San Diego has dealt two fringe 40-man players and two mid-level prospects away for Castro, Trevor Rosenthal and Mitch Moreland.
— Dennis Lin (@dennistlin) August 30, 2020
Padres Acquire Jason Castro
Castro is having a fine 2020 season. He is hitting .192/323/385 for a 92 OPS+. The 33-year-old has two home runs, 23 strikeouts and 10 walks in 62 plate appearances. That is down from his 2019 campaign but Castro was still part of LA’s strong catching group. Some of Castro’s struggles could be due to the general issues in Los Angeles where the offense was just average overall.
The Boston Red Sox originally drafted Castro in the 2005 Amateur draft but he decided to attend college until the Houston Astros selected him in the first round of the 2008 Draft. Castro was solid for the Astros with a slash line of .232/309/390 in 2266 plate appearances. He then posted a .229/325/390 slash line in 756 plate appearances for the Minnesota Twins. His career numbers include a .231/313/390 line with 88 home runs and a 93 OPS+. Those numbers aren’t eye-popping but they have come at a time when catcher production continues to decline across the league as the emphasis on defensive skills and framing has increased.
What This Means for the Future
This move addresses an immediate need for the Padres. They have the second-most productive offense by WAR with 8.0 according to FanGraphs. However, the catcher position has been a drain on that number. The Padres catchers have combined for just -.3 WAR. Castro should help solidify the position for the final 24 games.
Reyes debuted in 2019 with a 7.62 ERA, 38 strikeouts, and 11 walks in 26 innings. The 5’11 reliever had not played in 2020 but he was on the team’s 40-man roster and does present some interesting tools. He has a very good fastball that sits in the upper 90s with a good slider. The Angels have long-needed pitching so Reyes should be a factor in the bullpen for the next several years.
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