Los Angeles Times

Twins sign catcher Castro for 3 years

- Wire reports

The Minnesota Twins badly need to improve their pitching staff, with a team ERA that ranked among the three worst in the majors in five of the last six seasons.

Help can come from all corners of the organizati­on, including behind the plate. That’s why the Twins signed former Houston Astros catcher Jason Castro to a three-year contract worth $24.5 million, a deal agreed to last week and finalized Wednesday.

Castro will make $8.5 million in 2017, $8 million in 2018 and $8 million in 2019. He became a free agent after six seasons with the Astros, hitting .232 with 114 doubles, 62 home runs, 212 RBIs and 215 walks in 617 career games after being drafted in the first round out of Stanford in 2008.

Castro is considered a defensive upgrade over Kurt Suzuki, Minnesota’s primary catcher the last three seasons, who became a free agent.

Outfielder Matt Joyce reached agreement on an $11-million, two-year contract with the Oakland Athletics after passing a physical. The 32-yearold journeyman has played 140 games in each of three of the last four seasons, batting .242 with 13 home runs and 42 RBIs this year for Pittsburgh. Often a pinch-hitter, he started 30 games in right field and is likely to be a regular against right-handed hitting with a possible platoon role with Mark Canha. Joyce will earn $5 million in 2017 and $6 million the following season.

Having finalized a $110-million, four-year contract with the New York Mets on Wednesday, Yoenis Cespedes declared: “God willing, I will finish my career with this team.” Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson quickly interjecte­d: “God willing, and a no-trade clause, by the way.”

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