Rumors linking the Twins with free agent catcher Jason Castro have been swirling around for about a week, but seem to be picking up steam as of late. According to MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo, six teams have shown interest in Castro and multiple offers are already on the table. We don’t know for sure if one of those offers is from the Twins, but from the sound of reports, they seem to be a front runner in the bidding.
Castro has a disappointing year at the plate last season, hitting just .210/.307/.377 with 11 home runs for the similarly disappointing Houston Astros. Behind the plate, however, is where Castro really shines, having a reputation for strong pitch framing and defense. He is expected to receive a three-year deal.
The Twins don’t currently have a better in-house option for catcher. John Ryan Murphy, who spent most of 2016 in AAA, hit just .146/.193/.220 with one home run in 26 major league games last season. Murphy is under team control through 2020. Backup catcher Juan Centeno hit .261/.312/.392 with 3 home runs in 55 major league games last season, and turns 27 years old literally today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JUAN!
Mitch Garver, who split 2016 between the AA Chattanooga Lookouts and AAA Rochester Red Wings, is another possible option for the Twins, though they are looking for him to improve his defense.
As for other free agent catchers on the market include Wilson Ramos (recovering from a torn ACL), Matt Wieters, Kurt Suzuki, Jeff Mathis, Alex Avila, Hank Conger, Nick Hundley, Dioner Navarro, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Geovany Soto, and—of course—our dear old (and I do mean old) friend, A.J. Pierzynski.