Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays expected to pursue catcher Welington Castillo

ST. PETERSBURG — There were no surprises Friday as the Rays tendered contracts to all of their majors-most 11 arbitration-eligible players.

But an unexpected decision by the Diamondbacks not to tender Welington Castillo put the Rays in position to fill one of their main offseason goals in landing a proven catcher.

The Rays have definite interest and are expected to aggressively pursue Castillo, 29, who hit .264 with 14 homers, 68 RBIs and a .745 OPS in 113 games last year. Castillo, considered an average pitch framer, was projected to make $5.9 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility.

The Rays made room on the 40-man roster, for Castillo or another acquisition (such as a Rule 5 draft pick), by nontendering infielder Ryan Brett, who missed last season with injury.

The 11 arbitration eligible are projected to make around $35 million. That includes three who qualified under the Super 2 provision based on service time: Gold Glove winning centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier, reliever Danny Farquhar and infielder Tim Beckham.

Kiermaier, whose two years and 131 days service was believed to be right at the cutoff, will make an additional $2 million, with a projected salary of $2.5 million to $3 million rather than the $540,000 or so he was in line for.

Also, Kiermaier, Faquahar and Beckham get to be eligible for arbitration four times rather than the standard three.

The full list, including projected salaries:

Left-hander Drew Smyly ($7 million), right-hander Alex Cobb ($4-5M), right-hander Erasmo Ramirez ($3-4M), infielder Brad Miller ($3-4M), right-hander Jake Odorizzi ($3-4M), outfielder Corey Dickerson ($3-4M), Kiermaier ($2.5-3M), right-hander Brad Boxberger ($1-1.5M), left-hander Xavier Cedeno ($800K-$1.5M), Farquhar ($800K-$1.5M), Beckham ($800K-$1.5M).

Rays hire Figueroa

During a nine-year pro career that included parts of three seasons in the majors, including 2014 with the Rays, infielder Cole Figueroa's interests in the game always extended beyond playing.

Now Figueroa, 29, will get to explore those areas after joining the Rays front office as a baseball development assistant, with assorted duties and responsibilities including bridging the analytical/onfield information gap.

"It's something I've always been interested in and I got the opportunity to do that so I jumped at it,'' he said. "I think I'll end up touching a lot of different areas initially.''

Marc Topkin can be reached at

Rays expected to pursue catcher Welington Castillo 12/02/16 [Last modified: Friday, December 2, 2016 10:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jones: Koetter-Winston exchange highlights latest 'Hard Knocks'


    There are certain things that make HBO's Hard Knocks must-see television.

    Jameis Winston, left, has an exchange with Dirk Koetter that highlights Hard Knocks.
  2. Trevor Plouffe is DFA'd by Rays, Kittredge recalled for now


    INF Trevor Plouffe didn't do much with the opportunity the Rays gave him, and time ran out Tuesday when he was designated for assignment after the game.

    Plouffe hit just .178, with one homer and two RBIs, in 31 games for the Rays, his primary playing time from starting at first or third against lefties.

  3. Rays journal: Offense shows signs of waking up in win over Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The drought was so severe that it's still probably too soon to say the Rays are out of it, but scoring a half-dozen runs in Tuesday's 6-5 win over the Blue Jays was another promising sign.

    Corey Dickerson high-fives Wilson Ramos after hitting a solo home run in the third inning, putting the Rays up 2-1.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    C Wilson Ramos, coming off right knee surgery, often takes it easy on the bases, though it's not always a good look. But he hustled when he needed to Tuesday and got the Rays a run by beating out a two-out infield single, finishing with three more hits.

  5. Rays are full of ideas they'd like to share when commissioner visits

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Commissioner Rob Manfred is coming to the Trop today. Hmm. Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg will be there to greet him. Hmmmm. And they have a scheduled joint media session. Hmmmmmmmmm.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred isn’t expected to say anything definitive about the Rays’ stadium situation when he visits the team today.