From Bruce Levine of Chicago’s 670 The Score comes word that the Cubs have activated catcher Welington Castillo from the 15-day disabled list and designated Eli Whiteside for assignment in a corresponding move to open up a roster spot.
Castillo wound up missing nearly three weeks with a rib cage injury. He was 3-for-10 with two walks during a two-game rehab assignment at Triple-A Iowa.
The 27-year-old backstop is batting .242/.287/.385 with five home runs and 21 RBI in 43 games this season for the last-place Cubs, who open play Sunday against the Pirates with a record of 31-41.
Whiteside, a .210/.265/.327 career hitter, will likely pass through waivers and head to Iowa.
Eli Whiteside is giving Sandy Rosario some competition for the waiver wire’s favorite player this offseason.
Today the Rangers claimed Whiteside off waivers from the Blue Jays, who had claimed him off waivers from the Yankees … who had claimed him off waivers from the Giants. And all since November 1.
Somewhere along the way Whiteside signed a one-year, $600,000 deal for 2013, which at least three teams think is a reasonable price for a 33-year-old backup catcher with a .215 batting average and .608 OPS in 208 career games.
He’ll provide depth behind Geovany Soto, but could be back on waivers again if the Rangers’ reported interest in A.J. Pierzynski pans out or they acquire a different catcher.
Eli Whiteside has been a busy guy.
First the Yankees claimed him off waivers from the Giants in early November. Then he avoided arbitration with the Yankees by signing a one-year, $625,000 deal. Then the Yankees dropped him from the 40-man roster and placed him back on waivers.
And now the Blue Jays have claimed Whiteside, assuming his $625,000 contract and putting him on their 40-man roster. For now, at least. Who knows how long that will last considering Whiteside’s recent travels and Toronto’s tendency to claim and waive players constantly.
Meanwhile, he’s a 33-year-old career .215 hitter and no higher than third on the Blue Jays’ current catching depth chart, all while the Yankees try to replace Russell Martin behind the plate.
Eli Whiteside has agreed to a one-year, $650,000 contract with the Yankees, avoiding arbitration after being claimed off waivers from the Giants earlier this month.
Whiteside isn’t much of a hitter, batting .215 with a .608 OPS in 208 career games, but the 33-year-old has thrown out 31 percent of stolen base attempts and is more or less a prototypical backup catcher. He’s also shown signs of being a helluva linebacker and you never know when that could come in handy.
Even if the Yankees fail to re-sign Russell Martin it’s highly unlikely that Whiteside would be more than a twice-per-week starter, but he does give them a little depth at the position in the meantime.
It’s “are interested in” season:
Eli Whiteside: What am I, chopped liver?
Brian Cashman: Well, kinda.
Red Sox: Are you just doing this because you saw that we were interested in Napoli and you want to mess with us?
Brian Cashman: Probably.