BALTIMORE – Free agent catcher Welington Castillo has finalized a $6 million, one-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles.
Castillo's agreement, announced Friday, includes a $7 million player option for 2018.
He hit .264 with 14 homers and 68 RBIs in 111 games with Arizona last season, when he made $3.7 million. The 29-year-old, who became a free agent when the Diamondbacks failed to offer a 2017 contract, is expected to take over from four-time All Star Matt Wieters, who became a free agent.
Wieters accepted a $15.8 million qualifying offer last offseason and hit .243 with 17 homers and 66 RBIs in 124 games. He was not given a $17.2 million qualifying offer last month.
Castillo represents a lower-priced option. The 29-year-old broke into the big leagues in 2010 with the Chicago Cubs and has also played with Seattle.
He has a .255 career batting average with 60 home runs and 230 RBIs over 509 games.
Wieters, the fifth overall pick in the 2007 amateur draft, has spent his entire career with Baltimore.
The switch-hitter is known for his ability to work with a pitching staff but has also been productive at the plate: He has a .256 batting average with 117 homers and 437 RBIs over eight seasons.
On Friday, manager Buck Showalter and GM Dan Duquette indicated Wieters' tenure with the Orioles is over.
On conference call, Buck Showalter said it's difficult to say goodbye to Matt Wieters. Said it's tough for everyone. #Orioles— Eduardo A. Encina (@EddieInTheYard) December 16, 2016
Duquette on Matt Wieters: "We wish him well. But for our ballclub, we think Welington was the best bet on the market." #Orioles— Jon Meoli (@JonMeoli) December 16, 2016