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Welington Castillo declines 2018 player option, becomes free agent

Welington Castillo declines 2018 player option, becomes free agent

Catcher Welington Castillo has declined his player option to remain with the Orioles in 2018, officially becoming a free agent.

Castillo had until 5 p.m. Monday to decide whether to exercise a $7 million player option for next season at the back end of a two-year, $13 million deal he signed with the Orioles last offseason.

Considering the 30-year-old Castillo enjoyed one of the best all-around seasons of his major league career, the move was expected. The Orioles are free to negotiate a new deal with Castillo — but as of 5 p.m. Monday he can sign with any other club. Castillo’s 2.1 WAR (wins above replacement) this season ranked the second-highest among free-agent catchers,...

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