ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Arizona Diamondbacks sign reliever Miguel Castro to 1-year deal

Dec 2, 2022, 9:40 AM | Updated: 8:31 pm

The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed free agent right-handed reliever Miguel Castro, the team announced on Friday.

FanSided’s Robert Murray reported the move first.

The deal is for one year at $3.5 million for Castro, who spent the 2022 season with the New York Yankees.

And according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the contract includes a $5 million vesting option for 2024 that becomes guaranteed if Castro makes 60 appearances and passes a physical at the end of 2023. Rosenthal adds that the vesting option becomes a player option if the reliever finishes 40 games.

In 34 appearances, the right-hander posted a 4.03 ERA, a 3.84 FIP and 9.6 strikeouts-per-nine innings in 29 innings. He’s also a heavy groundball pitcher, posting a 49% career groundball rate.

Castro’s 6-foot-7 frame, combined with his whip-like three-quarter arm slot creates deception for opposing hitters.

This signing marks the D-backs’ second bullpen acquisition this winter and also sticks to the theme of power and swing-and-miss.

“We put too many balls in play late in innings relative to other bullpens in the league,” general manager Mike Hazen told reporters in mid-November.

Last season, Castro induced a whiff on 13% of pitches, 2.1% more than all D-backs relievers. He also was in the 96th percentile in fastball velocity, a statistic in which the D-backs finished 26th in the majors last season.

However, his slider and changeup are his moneymakers.

Last season, opponents hit only .189 against Castro’s slider and .222 against the changeup. On the other hand, they hit .357 with a .643 slugging percentage against his fastball.

Walks have hurt the right-hander in the past. However, if pitching coach Brent Strom can get him to fine-tune his command, he could be a vital weapon at the back-end of the Diamondbacks’ bullpen.

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