Mariners Rumors: Starlin Castro clears revocable waivers
By Ty Gonzalez
Starlin Castro has cleared revocable waivers, giving the Mariners another option to supplement their positional depth.
For the entire season, you’ve heard us clamoring for Andrew Romine’s replacement. Starlin Castro is not that. Instead, we provide you with a replacement for Dee Gordon, who in turn replaces Romine.
Earlier today, Castro cleared waivers and the Marlins are now free to work out a deal with any team that wants him. I expect the Mariners to at least kick the tires.
The Mariners lost out on Daniel Murphy, who was claimed by the Cubs last night. Now, we don’t know for sure that the M’s were actually interested in Murphy enough to put a claim on him, but it would’ve made sense.
Castro is no Murphy, as he doesn’t give you the positional flexibility Murphy does. But he’s a solid right-handed bat who can complement Dee Gordon rather nicely.
The Mariners finally let Gordon play shortstop during the Dodgers series, rendering Romine’s spot on the roster absolutely worthless, as if it wasn’t already.
With the versatility Gordon, Ryon Healy, and Robinson Cano give the Mariners, they can afford to acquire a player like Castro who has strictly played second base this season.
In essence, Castro and Gordon would become a bit of a platoon, with the Mariners leaning toward Gordon playing more of a utility role. Having Gordon as a pinch runner and defensive replacement late in games would be a massive upgrade to the Mariners’ bench going into the final stretch of the season.
Over 123 games this year, Castro is hitting .287/.335/.407 with 10 home runs and 45 RBI. He’s been good enough for a 1.8 fWAR, which is 1.5 points higher than Gordon. When compared to Gordon, he’s an upgrade at the plate but a downgrade defensively. That’s why promoting (or demoting?) Gordon to full-time utility makes the most sense.
Castro will not come cheap, contract-wise. He’s a good player, so to acquire him without having to give up much in player capital, you’ll have to take on his full contract.
Castro is owed roughly $4 million for the rest of this season, and $11 million next season. Considering that the Mariners cannot guarantee him an everyday role in 2019, that’s a pretty hefty price to pay.
In 2020, Castro has a club option worth $16 million with a buyout of $1 million. I expect whichever team acquires him this month, if any, do not plan on picking that up when the time comes.
Castro will have value, though, so the Mariners would likely be able to trade him during the offseason if they wish to.
It’s not a necessary trade to make, but it’s one that makes the struggling Mariners’ offense better.
The Mariners have been able to successfully work a couple of big deals with the Marlins’ new regime, acquiring Gordon and Cameron Maybin. That repertoire could go a long ways in making a deal before August 31.
For months, I have pleaded for a move to add significant depth to this team’s bench and the time to do it is now. I believe Castro is the guy, finally.