If there is one positive to take out of the Houston Astros only signing Jason Castro to a one-year deal, it’s that they did indeed avoid arbitration. And maybe it will be seen that the one-year deal was just to buy some time to get a longer deal squared away. If that proves true, then all of this speculation is obviously null and void.
That being said, this one-year deal feels like a huge loss for Astros nation. If Jose Altuve could earn a multi-year deal and prove that the Astros’ brain trust is ready to compete here and now, then why should Castro be any different?
Castro has proven his value. He’s produced in every way. His only problem is his balky knees, but that can easily be alleviated by rotating him around from catcher to DH and even to first base. It feels like the Astros are going to see how next year plays out. If it starts going south and they appear headed for another 100-loss season, Castro will almost certainly be dealt.
That’s not a good sign. Any more deals made for prospects have to feel like losses for the organization. Castro should be one of the centerpieces of this organization right next to Altuve. He put up really good numbers in his first nearly-full season, and given consistent playing time, there’s no reason why he can’t improve on those numbers.
Hopefully, this one-year deal is just a stall tactic until something bigger can get done. If the intention is to trade Castro, the Astros better get someone with immediate MLB impact in return, particularly a catcher.