It was a big worry when Jason Castro neared his arbitration with the Houston Astros this off season. That big worry was not at all put to rest when they extended a one-year deal to avoid arbitration. Rumors began circulating that he was the next Astros’ veteran to be shipped off like Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence, Michael Bourn and many more.
But that was during the clearing-house era of the Drayton McLane and Ed Wade regime. This is Jim Crane’s and Jeff Luhnow’s time.
It may seem like a minor thing, but the implications behind the reports that the Astros are nowhere near trading Castro are humongous in the grand scheme. There were reportedly several teams who inquired after Castro in the off season, but the talented backstop remains firmly implanted in the Astros’ current and future plans.
Not only does this mean the Astros are committed to keeping talent on the team. It shows that they are done rebuilding. They are making it a priority to keep the guys they have now (see Jose Altuve’s contract extension for further proof). The Astros’ front office admits that Castro’s veteran leadership and clubhouse presence were too much to even think about parting with. This should please Astros’ fans immensely … especially those who moan about the Astros selling everything for a batch of prospects. If that were the case, Castro would be long gone and we’d have three more prospects clogging up the minor league pipelines.
But we don’t.
Castro is here, and hopefully this news proves well-founded and he’s here to stay.