Veteran catcher Jason Castro has found himself another team for 2021, reportedly agreeing to a contract with the Houston Astros on Thursday. The 33-year-old backstop will look to bounce back from an underwhelming 2020. The deal is pending a physical, and it will pay Castro $7 million over two years.
Catcher Jason Castro's new contract with the Houston #Astros is two years, $7 million.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 21, 2021
Jason Castro Signs with Astros
Castro began 2020 with the Los Angles Angels before joining the San Diego Padres via trade. He accumulated 92 plate appearances between the two clubs with a total slash line of .188/.293/.375 and two home runs. It was a very underwhelming year given the strong run he had in 2019 with the Minnesota Twins, but it’s hard to get worked up over such a small sample.
The Astros drafted Castro in the first round of the 2008 Amateur Draft and he debuted for them in 2010. He was a backup for his first two seasons, but he collected 491 plate appearances and an All-Star nod in 2013 on the back of a .276/.350/.485 slash line and 18 home runs. Castro continued to play for Houston before eventually joining Minnesota as a free agent for the 2017 season. He was also a quality backstop for the Twins, but hasn’t recaptured the magic of that 2013 season. Castro has hit .230/.312/.390 with 88 home runs in his career. That translates to a 92 OPS+. He also has eight career defensive runs saved and 26.5 framing runs behind the plate.
Where Castro Fits on His New Team
Castro probably doesn’t have the strength to handle everyday duties in 2021, but there’s nothing to suggest he can’t be a regular contributor on alternating days. He is 14th in Fangraphs’ War since 2010 with 14.9. His offense is acceptable and his defense is perfectly decent considering the focus on pitch framing in the modern era. Castro should be a fine choice behind the plate and bottom half of the order. He is the best remaining catcher on the market not named J.T. Realmuto.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images