Many Arizona Diamondbacks fans had to have been shocked about the team non-tendering the contract of catcher Welington Castillo. Moreover, former D-backs pitcher Daniel Hudson had his name thrown around with rumors involving him going back to the team. Yet, after the Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles took both players off the market, they will obviously no longer be going back to the D-backs, at least for the time being.
According to Yahoo Sports, the Pirates signed Hudson to a two-year contract worth $11 million. That is far outside the range that the D-backs could have afforded to pay for a relief pitcher of Hudson’s status. Considering Hudson posted a 5.22 earned run average with the D-backs last season, they should be able to find a lot more value for $5.5 million per year.
The decision to non-tender the contract of Castillo was one that surprised the majority of the D-backs fan base. He was a key part of the offense over the last two seasons. However, the D-backs did have some depth behind him with utility-man Chris Herrmann. According to MLB Trade Rumors, Castillo was signed by the Orioles to a one-year contract worth $6 million, with additional options after the first year.
Considering the lack of catching talent available on the market, $6 million does not seem like too much money to give up for a player like Castillo. He hit .264/.322/.423 with 14 home runs, 68 runs batted in, and two stolen bases over 416 at-bats in 2016.
Meanwhile, the D-backs do have some better defensive options without Castillo than with. They also added Jeff Mathis to the roster, who currently is one of the best pitch framers in the MLB. Furthermore, Herrmann was solid both offensively and defensively last season. He hit .284/.352/.493 with six home runs, 28 RBI, and four stolen bases over 128 at-bats. Hermann also posted a standard fielding percentage of .996 with only one error at catcher last season.
The combination of Herrmann and Mathis could very well be more effective than just having Castillo with Herrmann as a part-time backup. Letting both Hudson and Castillo walk saved the D-backs at least $11 million per year, money that will be very valuable to the team this off-season.
Andrew Miller is a writer for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays on Outside Pitch MLB. You can follow and interact with him on Twitter.