Way out in the south side of the city of Chicago lies a baseball team with no direction. Sure, the White Sox can claim the likes of Jose Abreu, Yoan Moncada, and Lucas Giolito, but they can also can claim the third-lowest attendance numbers in major league baseball from last season. Their roster is the fifth lowest in all of baseball, but many of the guys have been rushed through their system to try to fill the gaps at the big league level. One player on the team that doesn’t exactly fit the young guy mantra on that team is catcher Wellington Castillo. In a time where younger players are more sought after than veterans, and it seems like 30 is the new 35, a guy like Castillo was a mind-boggling sign for the White Sox this offseason. However, there just happens to be a team in Flushing, Queens that should be in the market for a catcher.
Following the injuries to Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki, the situation behind the plate for the New York Mets has been a desperate one this season. Now requiring Tommy John surgery, it seems as if any hopes of returning to the Mets for d’Arnaud have quickly went down the drain. On the other hand, Plawecki’s broken hand is forcing him to sit the pine while watching the two replacement guys struggle. Jose Lobaton and Thomas Nido simply have not gotten the job done with their combined .113 batting average through April 27th. Many have called for a trade with the Miami Marlins for J.T Realmuto, and many have also called for them not to execute that trade. While I think it would be nice to have a player like Realmuto on the squad, I think he is just being labeled as this “must grab” player since the catching situation is currently so poor. Any trade for Realmuto would most likely cost more than what would it would be worth making for.
With that being said, I do believe that immediate help behind the plate would help in more ways than one. A player like Castillo would fit in nicely on the Mets lineup card. While he isn’t much of a hitter for average, his portfolio shows that he has been one of the top catchers in the game over the past three seasons in terms of home run hitting ability. He has 53 home runs over that span, trailing only Russel Martin, Brian McCann, Yasmani Grandall, and Salvador Perez. To put it into perspective, five separate Mets catchers had 55 over the same time span.
In addition to the power he will be bringing to the team, he also has the ability to throw people out, which is a significant problem that the Mets are facing right now. In 88 games last season with the Baltimore Orioles, Castillo threw out 49% runners who tried to steal on him, which led the American League.
At age 31, Castillo shouldn’t be too expensive to nab. If the Mets were to trade one of their lower end prospects for Castillo, who has a team option on his current deal, I think it would make total sense. When Plawecki returns, a catching tandem of him and Castillo should be enough to at least hold this team together. It would be better than what this team is running out on the field right now, anyway.