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.

Comments (78)

  1. I’d love Castro – who wouldn’t? – but I would imagine the cost would be too high. It would certainly seem like the Rangers or Red Sox could offer more, at least, and obviously the Astros don’t have to rush to move him even if those teams find a better option in free agency.

    • Would also be interesting if the Padres put Grandal on the block. He stuggled coming back from his roids suspension in 20+ games last year, but he has a good pedigree, takes a ton of walks and the Padres have Austin Hedges (a very good catching prospect) waiting in the wings.

    • Castro, Altuve and Dominguez may be the only position players guaranteed a job in Houston next April.. Could you see Rasmus, JPA, and an out of options bullpen arm as the key pieces to bring Castro to Toronto?

      And, if you really want to dream, can you see any way the deal gets expanded to include Altuve?
      Maybe Altuve gets included if Delbar and some other young pieces get included?

      • What possible use would they have for any of those guys except JPA as a stopgap/backup for Stassi?

        • They don’t have a closer. Delabar would fill that role. Rasmus could slot in beside the soon to be promoted George Springer to give them two thirds of a legitimate major league outfield, and any other bullpen arm could be a setup guy. Rasmus and Delabar could be two pieces they might very well have interest in.

          • Rasmus is a free agent next year. Rebuilding teams don’t need those, nor do they need closers.

            • Actually, Luhnow has been quoted as saying he was concerned about the number of leads his team gave up late in games last year. They don’t want an expensive closer, but a reliable and cheap one like Delabar could be right in his wheel house. Plus, like Veras last year, he’s a guy who could be flipped at the deadline.
              Rasmus is only 27. If they like him they’d want to extend him before agreeing to a trade. But he’s young enough to still be there when Correa, Singleton, Appel and this year’s first rounder have this team on the rise.
              Would not be quite so quick to dismiss Houston having interest in one or both of those guys.

              • Not sure why the Astros would trade 3 years of Castro to get at 1 year of Rasmus.

                And I know they are looking for bullpen pieces, but doubt they will trade controllable young players so they can hang on to a couple more wins next year…. But still be miles away from the playoffs. thinking they’re more likely to re-sign Veras or Perez and a couple cheaper bullpen arms.

      • That makes zero sense for Houston.

  2. I love the “person familiar” part for someone suggesting that the Jays likely can’t afford Cano and that they will spend on pitching. That limits the potential source pool to…I don’t know…everybody?

  3. Yep, i mentioned castro as a target way back in the summer. And im sure luhnow doesnt mind dealing with AA since the last time he ripped him off. AA gave up a ton of prospect depth in that stupid trade. Still dont know what he was thinking. Would nolin, jpa, and a lower level prospect get castro?

    • really? ripped off. who were the good prospects AA gave up?

      wojo is most likely a fringy middle innings guy and perez might be a back up catcher… I don’t like rollins’ or comer’s chances of sniffing the big leagues. AA dumped some dead money and got lyon and happ… not a lot to see here.

    • Congratulations.

      Also, do you have any idea where those prospects from that trade are at? Skip the nonsense.

      As for the proposal: zero chance.

      • It wasnt so much that those guys were great. The only guy doing good now is woj, I believe, but it just took a lot of depth out of the system that could have been used in other trades. Why did AA have to give up so many guys for happ and lyon? Anyways, no use in arguing about that trade now.

        • Because Happ was a young, cost-controlled starter. They are surprisingly not easy to get even if they are only a 5th starter.

  4. All I can do right now is picture JPA as a cowboy magician or whatever the fuck it is. Hilarious!

  5. Maybe the good thing about Castro is you could offer lower level talent, and not give up any of the current depth.

  6. I like Castro. Do this, because fuck, why not?

  7. Throw in Altuve while you’re at it

  8. I choo choo choose Chooch.

    Plus he only costs cash, keep the kids!

  9. One other guy I want the jays to take a long look at is jed lowrie. The guy is a really underrated 2b, has great ABs. I think he would be a great fit and the jays and a’s historically have made many trades. Maybe they could get him in a package with brett anderson.

  10. Re: “Too bad he’s not in the discount rack,” the “person familiar with Toronto’s thinking” tells him.

    That was the Jays of before. Slowly acquiring media assets, hovering around break even on the surface accounting, while making a few bucks after writing down losses against other entities in the media department while carrying over capital costs allowances while investing in the facility.

    Not any more, everything is in place now, there is a ton of money to be made (by all divisions in rogers media) if this team wins. They have been setting up this play for over 10 years since Rogers bought the team. They would have hoped that last years moves would have been enough, but they will pony up.

    I believe the Jays are gonna spend big this offseason. There is too much money to not be made otherwise.

    • I hope you implying that the Jays have been working up to a Cano signing for the past decade.

      And I hope your right.

      Jay Z as Cano’s agent and the hiring of Drake to help the MLSE owned Raptors is proof this is true.


    • Not that big though. You could get a top pitcher, good 2B and a good catcher all for what Cano will cost.

  11. Heyman drives my crazy. Almost as bad as Morosi.

    “Great Cheap Young Player” is drawing interest in the trade market. Not sure how open “Team A” is to trading “great cheap young player” but “Team A” has traded players before. “teams b, c and d” would potentially have interest.

    Add links. Repeat.

  12. Report: Blue Jays open to bringing in catching coach to work with JPA. UMMMMMM/WTF

    • Whatever.

    • That’s basically been AA’s stance on JPA (in a non-specific way) all along: there are “certain areas” that they’ll obviously look to upgrade in, but if they can’t they’ll look to improve the player(s) they already have.

      • His public stance, let’s be clear.

        • Well, yeah. But we’ve seen AA go into the offseason with that attitude regarding other players – there were a few times he seemed to consider signing a 1B/DH and shifting Lind to the bench – and just wind up finding no options and keeping the player he had.

      • Isnt this every teams stance on everyone?

        Rasmus is great but if the Angels give us Trout we would probably take him. If not, we might still try to make Rasmus better.

    • That is possibly the worse Jays story plant ever….
      Trying to convince teams that we wont just give JPA away or something to that effect ?!?!
      Like playing a good poker hand with a smile as big as the CN Tower…Think EVERYONE can see through that comment…Even charter members of the CNIB

  13. Just an aside – thanks for all the work/posts the last couple of days, Stoeten. Been interesting and entertaining. Hoping it’s the start of a productive offseason.

  14. Seems like Castro would cost a tonne.

    If they are going to shed some prospects I’d prefer it be for pitching.

    They can survive with this offense if the pitching is better, we had a much better offense then tampa bay and oakland, and they made the playoffs. Obviously it would be hard to get to that level of pitching success in one offseason, but Morrow and Dickey responding to poor year/injuries would go a long long way.

    • Agreed.

    • Have to agree. Last year, for better or worse, we had all the prospects in the world to deal. If we’re going to finish the job of depleting the minor league system – it has to be for an elite pitcher. Whatever happens with free agency / trade – a healthy and decent season from Morrow and Dickey will impact this team more than anything else. You can land Tanaka – and if those two under-perform you’re probably only marginally ahead of where you were last year.

  15. Not quite on topic, but for 4th outfielder, who is this player?

    RHB, base-stealing threat, can play all 3 OF positions, predicted a 1yr 5 mill contract, and posted these splits over the last three years:

    vs. Left .251 .351 .465
    vs. Right .212 .293 .387

    He might be looking for a full-time gig, but it seems to me that he’d be the ideal Rajai replacement and, unlike Sierra, he can play a decent CF to give Colby a break against tough lefties.

    Pillar’s not dissimilar, but doesn’t have the track record of lefty-bashing.

    • Chris Young?

    • 5 Milion for a platoon 4th OF? Why not save the money and use Gose or Sierra?

    • Yes, Chris Young.

      I agree 5 mill is a lot, but it’s not a major increase from Rajai.

      Gose doesn’t offer the RHB advantage (i.e., the ability to platoon with Lind at DH or give Rasmus a day off vs tough lefties), and Sierra can’t play CF so we’d probably then need a 5th OF.

      Young is ideal for roster flexibility, and serves all the necessary roles. The only downside is cost, and (as pointed out by Stoeten elsewhere) 5 mill can be recouped from other moving parts without seriously compromising the addition of SP/2B/C.

  16. So I can’t help but think about the idea of the Jays spending money, and a lot of people seem to think that is fairly likely. If you guys were to hazard a guess, how much do you think they are willing to spend? They are at what 119 mil or so? Are we talking Red Sox and Yankees territory here or? Spend a bunch and keep some prospects?

    • Sorry didn’t see the earlier blog post about payroll. I shall just carry on about my day..

    • Everybody’s saying $150M. They’re really at $135M already, though, so I think it will be more than that– or they’ll move some money around. I don’t think it will be crazy, but I could see a bigger name pitcher for sure. Whatever they do at C and 2B would probably be covered by moving money around.

    • Go about 3 posts back and you’ll have your (most likely) answer and more insight. But 150M is probably the budget. 135M already locked up once you include arb guys. But if you can unload any of Romero or Happ or JPA or Izturis, you get some more room.

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