As we passed along yesterday, the Rays and Joe Maddon are talking contract extension. Marc Topkin updates that report this morning, telling us that they are getting really close and that an announcement could happen at any time.
Maddon has led the Rays to the playoffs in the AL East three out of the last four years. But shhhh! Don’t tell anyone that. It totally screws up that whole “no one besides the Red Sox or the Yankees have a shot in that division” narrative that people in Toronto and Baltimore love so much.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.
Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.
Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.