On Friday, the Astros announced they had come to terms with both Jason Castro and Jesus Guzman on one-year contracts, avoiding arbitration with both players. In the Houston press release, terms of the contract were not revealed, though we found out later that Castro will get $2.45 million.
jason castro settles with #astros for $2.45M for '14— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 17, 2014
Terms of Guzman's deal were not immediately available, though the MLB Trade Rumors arbitration predictor thought Guzman would be worth $1.3 million.
This was Castro's first foray into arbitration after his debut in 2010. The 26-year-old missed the entire 2011 season with a knee injury sustained during spring training, but bounced back in 2013 to set career marks in home runs (18), batting average (.276), on-base percentage (.350) and wRC+ (130). Castro also made his first All-Star appearance in 2013 and made $496,666 last season.
Guzman was traded to the Astros from San Diego after the Winter Meetings. The 29-year-old is also entering his first arbitration year after making $503,200 last season. Houston traded infielder Ryan Jackson to San Diego for Guzman and plan on putting the power hitter into the mix in first base. Guzman hit .226/.297/.378 with nine home runs in 126 games and 318 plate appearances last season, but hit .245/.309/.381 in 139 plate appearances against left-handers in 2013.
With his settlement, Castro becomes the fifth-highest paid player on the Astros in 2014, trailing Scott Feldman, Dexter Fowler, Jesse Crain, Chad Qualls and is tied with Matt Albers. With both signings, Houston's payroll creeps close to $35 million, up nearly $9 million from Opening Day 2013.