UPDATE (Monday): Baltimore is now unlikely to sign Castillo as talks have failed to progress, according to Connolly. Castillo has multi-year offers elsewhere and appears likely to end up somewhere other than Baltimore.
ORIGINAL (Saturday): The Orioles are pursuing catcher Welington Castillo as their top catching target, according to Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com. FanRag Sports’ Robert Murray reported Thursday that the sides were “building momentum” toward a deal.
Baltimore would likely sign Castillo to a multi-year deal if the sides come to terms, according to Connolly’s report. No deal is close, though there is some “optimism” that one will be completed.
Castillo, who was non-tendered by the Diamondbacks at the beginning of the month, has drawn interest from multiple teams, including the Rays and Braves. Tampa Bay is no longer an option after the team’s addition of Wilson Ramos, though Atlanta could still pursue Castillo as they look for catching help.
The Orioles have also remained in touch with free-agent catcher Matt Wieters, who agent Scott Boras says is a January signing candidate. A reunion between the O’s and Wieters has not completely been ruled out, though it is not seen as likely at this point.
Castillo, 29, hit .264/.322/.423 with 14 homers and 68 RBI in 113 games last year for the D-Backs, and was a surprising non-tender. Arizona decided to prioritize defense behind the plate in an effort to cut costs, replacing Castillo with free agent Jeff Mathis, who was signed to a 2-year, $4 million deal.
Castillo is a veteran of seven major-league seasons with the Cubs (2010-15), Mariners (2015) and Diamondbacks (2015-16), and owns a lifetime .255/.318/.416 line in that span.