Per usual, the Tampa Bay Rays have released and/or lost a lot of position players to free agency: Avisail Garcia, Travis d’Arnaud Matt Duffy, Eric Sogard, and Jesus Aguilar. The Rays also executed a multi-player trade with the San Diego Padres where they, most notably, sent Tommy Pham to the West Coast for Hunter Renfroe.
The Rays have the talent to be back in the playoff mix next season, but they need to fill the voids the aforementioned departures create. Keeping in mind that they’re unlikely to dish out long-term deals (the Rays had the lowest payroll in Major League Baseball in 2019 at roughly $64.2 million), here are six short-term but efficient free agent options for the Rays.
With d’Arnaud signing with the Atlanta Braves, the Rays need a starting catcher; Castillo is an affordable, low-risk-high-reward option.
Castillo hasn’t manned a consistent starting gig over the last two seasons, partially due to being on the same roster as James McCann — one of the better hitting catchers in the sport — with the Chicago White Sox in 2019. Meanwhile, the big, right-handed hitter has pop in his bat. He totaled 12 home runs across just 72 games last…