The Minnesota Twins have agreed to sign Catcher, Jason Castro to a three-year contract worth $24.5MM. The 29 year-old was an All-Star in 2013 after hitting .276/.350/.485 that season. The left-handed hitting backstop has seen his production dip significantly since then finishing with a .210/.307/.377 batting line in his last season with the Houston Astros.
How this affects Minnesota's Catcher future outlook: With Kurt Suzuki hitting free agency, many assumed the Twins could stick with Juan Centeno as the starting backstop after delivering a .261/.312/.392 slash line in his first test as a starting Major League catcher. However, Chief Baseball Officer, Derek Falvey and the rest of the Twins' new front office obviously view Centeno as more of a backup. Castro's strong plate-framing reputation and upside as a former top prospect helped him earn a $8.2MM salary despite not being much of a run producer the past three seasons.
How this affects Minnesota's overall future outlook: With future sluggers like Miguel Sano, Max Kepler, and Byron Buxton along with the presence of Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer in the lineup, the Twins knew they don't need much offense from behind the plate. Instead, their priority is for their backstop to improve their pitching staff with his game-managing and pitch-framing abilities. That's exactly what Castro brings to the table. The 29 year-old could even get back to his All-Star self if he can discover what made him so successful in the second half of that season (.290/.389/.507 in 138 AB's).
Bottom Line: Minnesota filled their catcher vacancy with a defensive stalwart with the potential to be an offensive contributor as well without committing top-tier dollars to the position.