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Twins sign former Astros catcher Jason Castro to three-year deal

The Minnesota 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. 

Kurt Suzuki became a free agent after serving as Minnesota’s primary catcher over the last three seasons, including an All-Star selection in 2014 when he batted a career-high .288. Suzuki’s career average is 24 points higher than Castro’s, but the newest Twins catcher is considered an upgrade on defense, in terms of both fielding his position and handling a pitching staff.

Etc.

Outfielder Matt Joyce reached agreement on an $11-million, two-year contract with the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday after passing a physical. The 32-year-old 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. … Facing the possibility of getting cut by the Colorado Rockies later this week, right-hander Jordan Lyles agreed to a one-year contract worth $3,175,000 — a $200,000 raise. Lyles was mostly used out of the bullpen by the Rockies last season. He made the first of his 35 relief appearances on June 22 after being recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque and went 4-5 with a 5.83 ERA in 40 big league games overall. … 

The Atlanta Braves have finalized an $11.5-million, two-year contract with utility player Sean Rodriguez. The Philadelphia Phillies have hired Terry Ryan, the Minnesota Twins’ former general manager, as a special assignment scout. Philadelphia announced the appointment about 4 1/2  months after Ryan was fired in the middle of his 19th season as GM of the Twins. 

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