Jason to the Angels
The Los Angeles Angels signed catcher Jason Castro of Castro Valley, CA from the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday. The terms of the deal are one year and worth $6.85 million according to the Associated Press.
At 32 years of age, Castro has spent the last three seasons with the Twins. Prior to 2017, Castro played six seasons with the Houston Astros.
In 2019 with the Twins, Castro batted .232 with 13 home runs and 30 runs batted in. During his 275 plate appearances, Castro had 237 at bats, scored 39 runs, collected 55 hits, nine doubles, 33 walks, a .332 on base percentage, .435 slugging percentage, 103 total bases, one sacrifice bunt and one sacrifice fly.
The Angels, as well as those betting in West Virginia, will want to see Castro play more in 2020 than he has the last two seasons. In 2018, he only played 19 games due to season ending knee surgery in May and in 2019 was out with an elbow injury.
Los Angeles will be hoping that Castro improves his overall offensive production as well. In 2018, he batted 57 points below the Mendoza line at .143 in 19 games. Then last year, Castro improved his batting average to .232, and one percentage point above his Major League Baseball career average of .231. However the Angels will be hoping they get the Castro who hit the baseball with consistency while with the Astros.
Once in Castro’s career he was an all-star. That came in 2013 with the Astros. While with Houston, Castro batted .276 with 18 home runs and 56 runs batted in. Castro then had 56 runs batted in again in 2014.
While with the Astros and Twins, Castro played in the postseason. He was with the Astros when they reached the American League Divisional Series in 2015 and then the Twins when they played the American League Wildcard Game against the New York Yankees in 2017.
The loss of Castro means Mitch Garver of Albuquerque, NM will be the everyday catcher for the Twins in 2020. Last season, Garver batted .273 with 31 home runs and 67 runs batted in. There is no doubt that the offensive power Garver showcased in 2019 made Castro expendable.
Starlin to the Nationals
Castro batted .270 with 22 home runs and 86 runs batted in with the Marlins in 2019. In 676 plate appearances and 636 at bats, he scored 68 runs and had 172 hits, 31 doubles, four triples, two stolen bases, 28 walks, a .300 on base percentage, .436 slugging percentage, 277 total bases and nine sacrifice flies. Castro also had career highs in home runs, runs batted in and sacrifice flies.
The Nationals will become Castro’s fourth Major League Baseball team. In addition to the Marlins, Castro has played for the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees.
Castro led the National League in hits (207) in 2011. That season he had 152 singles, 36 doubles, nine triples and 10 hone runs.
Two positive attributes Castro brings to the Nationals are his versatility and endurance. He can play both second base and shortstop. He was mostly a shortstop with the Cubs and then moved over to second base while with the Yankees and Marlins.
Also throughout Castro’s Major League Baseball regular season career, he has led the National League in at bats three times and played a full 162 regular season games in a season twice. While with the Cubs, Castro led the National League in at bats in 2011 (674), in 2012 (646) and in 2013 (666). He also did not miss a regular season game with the Cubs in 2012 and Marlins in 2019.
A four-time All-Star, Castro represented the Cubs and the National League in the 2011, 2012 and 2014 midsummer classic, and then the Yankees and the American League in the 2017 All-Star Game. The signing of Castro is another sign that the Nationals will be trying to defend their World Series title in 2020. Expect Castro to play second base on a regular basis in Washington with Trea Turner of Boynton Beach, FL at shortstop.
Jose to the Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles signed shortstop Jose Iglesias of Havana, Cuba to a one year contract worth $3 million on Tuesday according to Tom Ruminski of The Score. The contract also includes an option for the 2021 Major League Baseball season. If the Orioles decide to exercise that option, Iglesias will make $3 million next season as well.
Last season with the Cincinnati Reds, Iglesias batted .288 with 11 home runs and 59 runs batted in. He had 62 runs, 145 hits, 21 doubles, three triples, six stolen bases, 20 walks, an on base percentage of .318, a slugging percentage of .407, 205 total bases, one sacrifice bunt and two sacrifice flies.
It was actually a career season for Iglesias in 2019. He had career highs in runs, hits, home runs, runs batted in, slugging percentage and total bases. It was also the first time in Iglesias’s Major League Baseball career that he reached double digits in home runs. Prior to last season, Iglesias was known for being a contact hitter (career batting average of .273), with not a lot of power.
The Orioles become the fourth Major League Baseball team that Iglesias has played for in his career. Prior to playing for the Reds, he has played with the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers. While with the Tigers on 2015, Iglesias was an all-star. He batted .300 for the second straight season and third time in four years, and only struck out 44 times in 454 plate appearances.
Igelsias is also known for his defense. He has only committed 48 errors in 794 Major League Baseball regular season games. Iglesias also brings postseason experience to the Orioles. He was with the Tigers when they reached the 2013 Major League Baseball postseason.
Expected to be the everyday shortstop with the Orioles in 2020, Iglesias joins an infield that includes first baseman Chris Davis of Longview, TX, catcher Pedro Severino of Bonao, Dominican Republic, second baseman Hanser Alberto of San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic and third baseman Rio Ruiz of Covina, CA. The Orioles were last in the American League East last season. With a record of 54 wins and 108 losses, they were 49 games back of the first place New York Yankees.