Dodgers: The Best Waiver Trade Deadline Targets
Of all the positional needs, backup catcher seems like the most likely upgrade. After all, they did just that in 2016 acquiring Carlos Ruiz for fan favorite AJ Ellis.
Austin Barnes looked like the truth last season, he played so well that he took the starting job from Yasmani Grandal during the playoffs. 2018 was a big year for Barnes, as he was looking to prove he could be the guy if Grandal leaves via free agency this upcoming off-season. But, Barnes has just raised question marks for the Dodgers immediate future behind the plate.
Welington Castillo could answer those questions. He would be an upgrade over Barnes and since he is under contract until 2019 with a team option in 2020, Castillo could be the stop gap while Will Smith and Keibert Ruiz are still growing as players.
Castillo is still serving an 80-game suspension for testing positive for PED’s. But, he is due to return August 24th. Castillo could be a big bat off the bench and a great start against left-handed pitching.
In 2017 Castillo slashed .344/.367/.592 against left-handed pitching. As good as Grandal has been against RHP, he is nowhere near the same against LHP. Barnes has also clearly not been getting the job done. Grandal has been getting more starts against lefties and that is not an ideal situation for the Dodgers, because he is just not the same hitter from the right side.
Castillo would be a tight squeeze financially, but he should fit and if he doesn’t the White Sox could send some money. They already have 2 catchers on their roster and both have been playing well. When Castillo returns they won’t have many AB’s for him and would be better suited to getting prospects for him.