The Rays have thrown their hat in the ring for catcher Jason Castro, who hit the open market this offseason and has reportedly been in talks with the Twins and Braves, among other teams. According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, comments from Castro’s agent Fred Wray suggest that the 29-year-old free agent is weighing the Rays’ initial offer against competing bids from other clubs.
Castro’s appeal lies in his defensive profile and relative good health. While he batted just above the Mendoza line during his sixth consecutive season with the Astros, his pitch framing provided substantial value to the team’s 2016 run. Over 111 starts behind the plate, he placed seventh among major league catchers with 17.0 Framing Runs in 6,623 framing chances (via Baseball Prospectus).
Castro isn’t the only free agent catcher on the market this winter, but Wray doesn’t appear to be in a rush to lock down a deal. The former Astros catcher is expected to attract a multi-year offer, though his agent declined to go into specifics this early in the offseason.