In a somewhat surprising move, the Chicago White Sox signed 30-year old catcher Welington Castillo to a two-year deal with a club option, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. What makes this move surprising is it appeared that Kevan Smith and Omar Narvaez would get time to grow up during the rebuild. Instead, Rick Hahn adds a veteran catcher who can handle his own defensively and provide an offensive boost in the lineup.
Plus, there is an option that Castillo could be with the White Sox when they being their transition from rebuilder to contender.
Sources: Welington Castillo's deal with the White Sox is for $15 million guaranteed. It's a two-year deal with a club option for $8 million in the third year. @Ken_Rosenthal had the deal done first.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 1, 2017
In a press release from the White Sox, the club option is $8 million with a buyout of $500,000. Castillo played with the Baltimore Orioles last year, appearing in 96 games hitting 20 home runs and finished with a slash line of .282/.323/.490. His bat will be a very noticeable upgrade over Smith and Narvaez.
As far as defense goes, Castillo has been consistently above average in blocking and throwing runners out. His 7.4 fielding runs above average in 2017 would be a significant upgrade for the White Sox as both Smith (-7.7 fielding runs) and Narvaez (-10.7 fielding runs) was below average. With regards to framing, Castillo has always been regarded below average until last year, when he posted 3.7 framing runs; a significant 13 run improvement from 2016 (-9.4 framing runs).