The Baltimore Orioles now have resolution on their three players with options, as Welington Castillo has declined his option for the 2018 season.
The Baltimore Orioles now have resolution on their three players with options, as Welington Castillo has declined his option for the 2018 season and the team has declined options on Wade Miley and J.J. Hardy.
None of these three decisions come as a surprise.
Hardy’s option did not vest, as he did not have enough at-bats in 2017 for that to happen. And, he is not the player he once was. Hardy also wants to be an everyday player, and with Tim Beckham, that wasn’t in the cards in Baltimore.
Miley was maybe a tiny bit intriguing, considering he is left-handed and the Orioles could use just about any starting pitchers with a pulse. But, the team made the smart option to decline his option.
More from Baltimore Orioles
- What other Baltimore Orioles Offseason Storylines will you be interested in seeing?
- Baltimore Orioles to Face Numerous Playoff Contenders Down the Stretch
- Baltimore Orioles Showing Encouraging Signs During Recent Wins
- The Baltimore Orioles and the Expanded September Roster
- Orioles Josh Rogers Expectations in his Major League Debut
Together, those options cost the team $2.5 million dollars, as opposed to the nearly $30 million it would have cost to pick up the options for next year. That left Welington Castillo as the remaining player.
Castillo came to the Orioles with a one year deal and a player option for a second. It was an opportunity for him to prove himself as a regular, everyday catcher when the Orioles didn’t know what kind of offensive rebound they would get from Caleb Joseph.
And in all terms, he succeeded. Castillo hit .282/.323/.490 in 365 plate appearances with 20 home runs, 44 runs, 53 runs batted in and 11 doubles. He also walked 22 times, nd struck out 97.
Castillo carried an offensive WAR of 2.4 and a defensive WAR of 0.3. He threw out 49 percent of attempted base stealers, easiest the best mark in the league.
However, a lot of the other defensive metrics don’t rate him quite as favorably, and his ball framing is also below par. But, how much will the Orioles miss Castillo?
Caleb Joseph hit .256/.287/.413 in 266 plate appearances with eight home runs, 31 runs scored, 28 runs batted in and 14 doubles. He walked 10 times to 72 strikeouts.
Joseph carried an offensive WAR of 0.9 and a dWAR of 1.2. He only threw out 18 percent of attempted base stealers, well below the league average. However, Joseph is a guy who the previous three years was above league average, even leading the league in 2014.
Joseph had a better fielding percentage than Castillo (albeit in fewer chances) and the sabermetrics rated him favorably, as they always do. Plus, and this may be the biggest part in this, the Orioles have prized prospect Chance Sisco waiting in the wings at catcher.
Sisco played sparingly after being called up in September, but this is a guy who offensively is ready to be a major leaguer. He doesn’t hit for a lot of power, but is a strong average hitter. The question will be throughout Spring Training whether or not his defense is ready for the major leagues.
The Baltimore Orioles saved over $30 million dollars in the decisions that were made. That is money that Dan Duquette needs to put to good use. The Orioles’ starting pitching needs at least three quality options if this team is going to make a run at it in 2018.
For the Orioles, it is all about the starting pitching. With these three expected outcomes, the Orioles can now begin to determine where to spend that money.