Ever heard about a little play called Much Ado About Nothing?
Well, ole' Bill Shakespeare could have been talking about this latest story on Jason Castro. Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle is all over it, saying that the Astros have tendered Jason Castro a contract before the 11 p.m. EST deadline tonight.
However, that doesn't mean much. To Drellich:
It should be noted that tendering Castro a contract does not mean that a 2014 deal has been finalized. Salary arbitration figures do not have to be exchanged until Jan. 17, and potential arbitration hearings are not scheduled before Feb. 1. At any point, the Astros and Castro could agree on the dollars on their own, and the likelihood is they will. All arbitration-eligible players settled on a salary without need for a hearing last offseason.
Castro and the Astros could well agree to a long-term contract extension in lieu of a one-year deal, but discussions aren't expected until later in the offseason. Naturally, teams have expressed interest in Castro, and any front office will at least listen to proposals.
This was a clerical move and a no-brainer rolled into one. Yes, they were absolutely going to tender Castro. No, it doesn't mean they've avoided arbitration with him yet. That will come in time.
As an aside, it's pretty awesome to see Drellich name-checking MLB Trade Rumors' arbitration predictor and FanGraphs' WAR numbers. It's like he's doing what we usually do for us. Which is bad, because if he's already doing it, why do you need us? We're not funny enough to survive on that alone. We need our stat geeky niche.
So, on second thought, go back to the Stone Age, Evan Drellich. Leave us alone!