BALTIMORE -- The Matt Wieters era in Baltimore is over. The Orioles agreed to terms with veteran catcher Welington Castillo on a one-year deal with a second-year player option on Wednesday, according to an industry source, giving the club a new face behind the plate.
The agreement has not been confirmed by the club and is pending medicals.
The contract, which includes $6 million for next season and $7 million in 2018 if Castillo elects his option, is the O's first big move of the offseason and fills one of their primary holes.
Orioles agree to deal with Welington Castillo
With Wieters a free agent, the Orioles targeted Castillo and weren't shy about their interest, with manager Buck Showalter confirming the rumor at last week's Winter Meetings.
The deal, first reported by MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman, gives the Orioles a veteran presence while they wait on the arrival of No. 2 prospectChance Sisco, who is projected to begin the year at Triple-A Norfolk.
Castillo, non-tendered by Arizona, hit .264 with 14 home runs and 68 RBIs in 113 games for the D-backs last season. The Dominican native owns a career .255/.318/.416 slash line through parts of seven seasons in the big leagues, which has also included stints with the Mariners and Cubs, who originally signed Castillo as a 17-year old in 2004.
Wieters was a homegrown pick selected in the first round by the Orioles in 2007, and he has been Baltimore's catcher since 2009. He received and accepted a qualifying offer last offseason, coming off of his first year back from Tommy John surgery, and the O's did not extend him a qualifying offer this offseason.
While executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette never said the club was out on Wieters -- who is unsigned -- it became clear as the offseason progressed that they had other options in mind.
Sisco could reach the Majors at some point this season, though Castillo's signing will keep Baltimore from rushing the young backstop. It also leaves Caleb Joseph and Francisco Pena as the primary backup candidates going into Spring Training.
Brittany Ghiroli /

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