The Baltimore Orioles may not wait until 2017 to snag a power hitter and a catcher as talks continue with Mark Trumbo and Welington Castillo.
When Mark Trumbo filed for free agency, the Baltimore Orioles appeared to lose the league’s top home run hitter, an All Star and a Silver Slugger award recipient. I say “appeared” because the Orioles could still sign Trumbo to a deal which, despite tagging him with a qualifying offer, would not require the Orioles to forfeit a draft pick. As talks picked up again today, I get a sneaking suspicion that a deal will get done. Trumbo flourished in Baltimore and I get a sense that he may want to call Baltimore home for several years. Per Roch Kubatko with MASN, Dan Duquette sat down with Mark Trumbo’s agent yet again today. Multiple offers have been exchanged as part of the negotiation. Trumbo’s desire for more guaranteed money along with a no-trade cause appear to be the stumbling blocks that are slowing up a possible deal. Trumbo was originally seeking $80M; however, sources have said that Trumbo’s asking price has come down and may be in the $75M range. I will assume these numbers are based on a 4 year deal.
Based on the number of meetings Duquette has held with Trumbo’s agent and the fact that the Orioles have made multiple offers, I would not be surprised if a deal gets done soon. This is mere speculation on my part; however, when sides are willing to meet several times and exchange multiple offers, it tells me a deal is likely to happen. Things could fall through very easily (Dexter Fowler); however, I believe both sides want to get this done.
Trumbo may not be the only slugger the Orioles court this off-season. Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion may see their prices plummet to the point of making an offer a no-brainer. Both were tagged with a qualifying offer thus the Orioles would have to relinquish their 1st round draft pick for either. The longer these two stay on the open market, the more likely a deal could get done with Baltimore.
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Dan Duquette appears to be interested in moving quickly on a catcher as well. Per Robert Murray at FanRagSportsNetwork, “the Baltimore Orioles and free agent catcher Welington Castillo are currently building momentum towards a deal.” Roch Kubatko also noted that Dan Duquette will not wait until January to make a deal for a catcher and that Duquette is most interested in Castillo.
Castillo has been a decent hitting catcher throughout his career. In 7 seasons and 1,721 ABs, Castillo has batted .255 with a total of 60 HR and 230 RBI. Last year, he amassed a total WAR of 2.4 compared to Matt Wieters WAR of 1.7. Castillo is a so-so defender. He is not the pitch-framer that I believe the front office was seeking, but he would be a nice depth addition to a thin catching group.
It’s very possible that this activity is all a big bluff or ploy to bring other deals front and center more quickly, but Duquette has a pretty methodical approach, and I get a sense he wants these deals done.
What are your thoughts on the Orioles’ interest in re-signing Mark Trumbo? Do his strikeouts bother you? What about his rather low OBP? How do you feel about Welington Castillo? I’m always interested in hearing your thoughts