WELY.jpg

Cubs catcher Welington Castillo knows he could be traded. (AP)

Cubs’ Welington Castillo knows he could be moved

SHARE Cubs’ Welington Castillo knows he could be moved
SHARE Cubs’ Welington Castillo knows he could be moved

MESA, Ariz. — It probably won’t happen. But the Cubs’ insistence that they could keep three Opening Day catchers has as much to do with Ryan Lindley as it does Welington Castillo.

“Look at the Arizona Cardinals this year in football,” manager Joe Maddon said this week. “When they got to the end of the season in a playoff situation, they had to resort to a third quarterback who really could not get it done for them.

“I really think that catching is kinda like that — it’s the quarterback moment.”

The Cubs’ faith in Castillo, though, is measured thusly: they traded for Miguel Montero this offseason and signed free agent David Ross to a two-year deal, knowing Castillo is out of minor-league options. None of the three can play a position other than catcher.

It’s more likely Maddon was talking up Castillo to improve his trade value before teams whittle down their final rosters.

“I just know one thing,” said Maddon, a former minor-league catcher. “If you’re trying to find Welington Castillo in mid-April, you ain’t going to find him — unless you got him.”

Castillo knows that a trade is possible, if not likely. It’s hard not to worry, because his friends and family constantly ask him about the rumors.

“I can’t worry about what’s going to happen in two weeks, because I can’t control that,” he said this week. “I just let those guys decide what they’re going to do. I’m just here. I’m still here. My focus is to get better every day and try to win the most games that we can win for this team.”

Castillo appeared in 223 games over the past two seasons, combining to hit 21 home runs, drive in 78 RBIs and bat .255 during that span. Maddon called Castillo a ”premier thrower,” too.

“If you look at the catchers that we have in Montero and Ross, there’s reasons to get them out of the game late in the game — whether it’s pinch-hitting or pinch-running,” he said. “And just think about Wely’s tools.”

The team could pull it off, particularly because Arismendy Alcantara could serve as a backup both in the infield and outfield.

“I’m not saying that Wely’s on the team,” Maddon said. “I’m not trying to infer that right now. Just that you’ve got to think that way as you’re putting the whole thing together.”

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @patrickfinley

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