Now here’s one of those names Shi Davidi was maybe talking about yesterday as being a surprising entry onto the catching market: Jason Castro of the Astros (holy shit, I just noticed that rhymes!).
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is reporting that Houston could see an opportunity in dangling their starting catcher, given the dearth of anything resembling a decent one on the market… that is, beyond Brian McCann and Jarrod Saltalamacchia– who, FYI, Castro is probably actually a whole lot more appealing than.
Castro’s name hasn’t previously come up as a trade possibility, but the Astros have been known to trade players, even young ones. It isn’t certain how serious they are about dealing Castro, who became an All-Star in 2013 for the first time, but Houston is said to like catching prospect Max Stassi very much.
Well well well!
Heyman goes on to note that Castro is headed into his first arbitration year, and suggests that the Jays, along with the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rangers, would potentially have interest. What goes without saying is that the cost would be very high. Not only is there the good contract status, but there are Castro’s numbers: a .361 wOBA and 130 wRC+ this year. His defence, from what I can gather, remains a work in progress, but has evolved up to somewhere in the neighbourhood of average-ish by most accounts.
If the Jays don’t have interest, in other words, they should. Especially since the Astros– despite, as Heyman suggests, looking to spend a bit more on their big league roster this year than they have in years past– are one of the rare teams who would be open to dealing in players who are still a decent amount away from the Majors, as we saw when the Jays acquired J.A. Happ from them during the summer of 2012.
That deal, in addition to involving big leaguers David Carpenter and Brandon Lyon (who came here), and Francisco Cordero and Ben Francisco (who went to Houston), saw the Astros receive Jays minor leaguers Asher Wojciechowski (Dunedin), Carlos Perez, Dave Rollins (both Lansing), Joe Musgrove and Kevin Comer (both Bluefield). Obviously the Astros are now a little farther along their development curve, but… maybe not so much that prospects from those sorts of levels wouldn’t still intrigue them– and the Jays are well stocked there.
Of course, you’d have to think it would take a similar volume of players–at the very least– to get a very, very nice piece in Castro, but in terms of smoothing out the edges of the deal, the Jays could certainly exile J.P. Arencibia to Houston in order to give the Astros a capable starter should Stassi falter. Shit, maybe that’s not even the worst landing spot for Ricky Romero, either!
If only, y’know, there weren’t those pesky other teams with better things to offer we might be set! Still, though, if Castro is available, you’d better believe it’s got the Jays’ attention.
In a second piece, Heyman breaks down the Jays various needs, and while it doesn’t feature a whole lot in the way of juicy gossip, it’s worth passing along that a source tells him that, unsurprisingly, the Jays– though they like Robinson Cano– are aiming to spend their money on starting pitchers.
“Too bad he’s not in the discount rack,” the “person familiar with Toronto’s thinking” tells him.
Heyman also tells us that it seems as though Jose Reyes is impervious to the kind of trade speculation that has, frustratingly, dogged Jose Batustia– and even Encarnacion– since the middle of the summer. “One Blue Jays connected person said he has a hard time envisioning the team better by trading Reyes.”
That echoes what somebody told Joel Sherman of the New York Post, which is that the Jays would have to do “a total reset” to consider dealing Reyes. So… next July, then?
So… there’s that.