Popular Seattle Mariners relief pitcher, Yeorvis Medina has been traded to the Chicago Cubs for catcher Wellington Castillo.
Earlier in May, 26 year old Medina was sent to Triple A Tacoma to work on his control. Medina appeared in 12 games this season, giving up 11 hits, four earned runs, while earning 1 save and 3 holds in 12 innings. Although his stats were not terrible, Mariner Manager Lloyd McClendon sent him down to the minors to work on control issues.
The 28 year old Wellington Castro is a 6 year veteran catcher. 2013 and 2014 were Wellington’s best years, where he played in 113 and 110 games respectively. Castro has a .252 average and 29 career home runs while playing solid defense. This year he is hitting .163 with two home runs and five RBIs in 24 games this season.
The Cubs benefit from added depth in the bullpen while freeing up a roster spot to call up pitchers to their 25 man roster. Medina will continue to work on his control at Triple A Iowa, where the Cubs can call him up in case of injury.
The added depth at catcher for the Mariners is important as at both the major league and minor league level, the Mariners have a dearth of talent. The addition of Castillo is seen as a move to push established starter Mike Zunino and backup Jesus Sucre. Both Zunino and Sucre are above average defenders behind the plate, however, offensive production at the catcher position is horrendous.
Although Zunino has 5 home runs, he is batting .179 on the season. In a limited 15 at bats, Sucre has only 2 hits. Sucre has been such a liability offensively, the M’s have been hesitant to put him in the field. Most likely, we will see Castilo replace Sucre (who will be sent to Triple A) and play once or twice a week to spell Zunino.