Baseball

Orioles Trade Diego Castillo To Twins

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The Orioles announced Friday that they’ve traded minor league infielder/outfielder Diego Castillo to the Twins in exchange for cash. He’s not to be confused with veteran reliever Diego Castillo — the former Mariners/Rays closer and setup man who also joined the Twins on a minor league deal last week.

This latest trade will bring the younger, 26-year-old Castillo to the Twins. It was an eventful offseason for the versatile utilityman, who bounced from the D-backs, to the Mets, to the Yankees, to the Phillies, to the Orioles via the DFA carousel this offseason. The Orioles finally succeeded in sneaking Castillo through waivers back in February, retaining him without needing to dedicate a spot on the 40-man roster. He’ll now join an incredible sixth organization in the past four months. Since the O’s outrighted Castillo back in February, he won’t need to go onto the Twins’ 40-man roster and can head right to their Triple-A affiliate in St. Paul.

Castillo spent the 2023 season with the D-backs organization but only appeared in one big league game and went hitless in his only plate appearance. He’d picked up 283 plate appearances with the Pirates a year prior but managed only a .206/.251/.382 batting line in what was his MLB debut effort.

The majority of Castillo’s 2023 season was spent with the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate in Reno, where he posted an excellent .313/.431/.410 slash with more walks (17.4%) than strikeouts (14.2%) in 556 plate appearances. He played second base, shortstop, third base and left field in Reno. Castillo has played 177 career games in Triple-A and is a .296/.410/.407 hitter.

Castillo doesn’t have much power but has long drawn praise for his plus hit tool, which is evidenced by his minimal strikeout rates. He pairs that with a keen eye at the plate, a bit of speed and plenty of defensive versatility, even if he’s not regarded as a plus defender anywhere on the diamond. The Twins recently lost third baseman Royce Lewis to a quad strain, and top infield prospect Brooks Lee is out until late April due to a back injury. They recalled prospect Austin Martin to replace Lewis on the big league roster, and his departure from St. Paul, coupled with Lee’s injury, likely pushed the Twins to acquire some additional depth in the form of Castillo.

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