According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale and ESPN’s Jeff Passan, former Astro catcher Jason Castro has agreed to a two year, $7m contract with incentives as high as an additional $2m.
Catcher Jason Castro's new contract with the Houston #Astros is two years, $7 million.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 21, 2021
Jason Castro’s two-year deal with the Houston Astros guarantees him $7 million and can be worth up to $9 million depending on the games he plays at catcher in 2021, sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 21, 2021
A first-round, #10 overall draft of the Astros in 2008, for his career Castro sports a .230/.312/.390 slash line for a .702 OPS. (92 OPS+) In 2013 Castro had his best season, hitting 18 home runs with an .835 OPS, earning him his only trip to the All-Star game, representing the Astros.
Last year, in 92 PA’s splitting time with San Diego and the LA Angels, he was down to .668 OPS.
However, in his final year with Minnesota in 2019, he had one of his best years with a .767 OPS.
Castro will split time with ostensible starting catcher Martin Maldonado. This pair gives the Astros an ideal platoon situation, as Castro’s career OPS against right-handed hitters is .749, but against left-handed hitters only .553. Maldonado on the other hand, hits lefties slightly better, with a career .672 OPS, as opposed to a .641 OPS against righties, about 100 points below Castro.
The addition of Castro makes the Astros strong defensively at backstop regardless of which catcher is behind the plate. For his career, Castro has a positive 8 DRS (Defensive runs saved) rating and a 26.5 FRM (framing ) rating. His overall Fangraphs DEF rating careerwise is 73.0
Maldonado rates higher though, with a 68 DRS, a 69.4 FRM, and an overall DEF of 135.9
At 33, Castro is the youngster of the platoon. (Maldonado is 34) This contract should keep the Astros set at catcher until 2022, when both again become free agents.
Of course, this leaves Astros farm product Garrett Stubbs yet again on the outside looking in. At 27, he is quickly becoming the Crash Davis of the Astros organization.
Another position filled.
Still to come: Center field.