The Mariners Tuesday acquired C Wellington Castillo from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for RHP Yoervis Medina. Castillo has served as the Cubs’ third catcher this season and is hitting .163/.234/.349 with two home runs and five RBIs in 43 at-bats. Medina started the season in Seattle’s bullpen, but was demoted to AAA Tacoma earlier this month.
Seattle’s No. 1 catcher, Mike Zunino, is batting .179/.241/.358 with five home runs and 11 RBI in 106 at-bats. Backup Jesus Sucre is 1-for-15 in six games. Sucre will likely be optioned back to AAA Tacoma. The acquisition of Castillo, who is considered a solid defensive catcher, is to back up Zunino more reliably.
Castillo, 28, a native of the Dominican Republic, signed with the Cubs as an amateur free agent in 2004 and made his MLB debut Aug. 11, 2010. He has spent all 11 of his professional seasons in the Cubs organization. He had his best year in 2013 when he appeared in 113 games and hit .274 with eight home runs and 32 RBIs.
Castillo has mainly been used as a pinch hitter this season, and it was widely speculated in Chicago that he would be traded before the July 31 deadline.
The 26-year-old Medina was 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in 12 appearances this season prior to being optioned to AAA Tacoma May 3. In three seasons with the Mariners, he posted a 10-9 record with two saves and a 2.82 ERA in 141 relief appearances.