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Murray: Orioles, Welington Castillo building toward deal

27 September 2016: Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Welington Castillo (7) hits an RBI double in the third inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire) Arizona
Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire

The Baltimore Orioles and free agent catcher Welington Castillo are currently building momentum towards a deal, sources tell FanRag Sports. While the sides have not yet come to a full agreement, it appears that the veteran backstop could be heading to Baltimore after recently being non-tendered by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

As it stands today, Caleb Joseph is listed as the Orioles’ starting catcher while the arrival of Castillo would ensure that current backup Francisco Pena would then be out of the picture come next season. While All-Star catcher Matt Wieters has served as Baltimore’s primary catcher since 2009, he has since become an unrestricted free agent, leading to the club’s interest in Castillo.

Appearing in 124 games for the Orioles last season, Wieters batted .243 with 17 home runs, 66 RBI and a .302 on-base percentage while reaching his fourth career All-Star Game in the process.

On the other hand, the 29-year-old Castillo spent last season suiting up in the desert as a member of the Diamondbacks. Acquired by Arizona midway through the 2015 campaign, he spent that same season split between the Diamondbacks, Seattle Mariners and Chicago Cubs. However, Castillo notably spent the first five years of his big league career in the “Windy City” while he now appears primed to play for his fourth major league club.

While appearing in 113 games in what would become his only full season in Arizona, he batted .264 with 14 home runs and 68 RBI to accompany his .322 on-base percentage. Although his numbers from last year are similar to Wieters, he will presumably come with a smaller price tag than his counterpart.

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