Seattle acquires Welington Castillo from Cubs in exchange for reliever Yoervis Medina

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BALTIMORE — In a move to address their catching depth and add offensive production, the Mariners made a trade Tuesday to acquire catcher Welington Castillo from the Cubs in exchange for right-handed reliever Yoervis Medina.

“We thought it was a good fit,” Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “We wanted to make a trade to shore up that position. You hate to give up Yoervis. He’s a guy who has done some nice things for us and you thought he could be pretty good.”

Castillo, 28, was relegated to the No. 3 catcher on the Cubs with the acquisitions of Miguel Montero and David Ross in the offseason. He had started just eight games at catcher this season.

He was hitting .163 (7 for 43) with a .583 on-base plus slugging percentage with two homers and five RBI. In 2014, Castillo hit .237 with a .686 OPS with 13 homers and 46 RBI. He had 107 strikeouts in 110 games. He is a career .252 hitter with a .718 OPS in 310 games.

The acquisition means backup catcher Jesus Sucre will be optioned to Class AAA Tacoma.

Sucre was hitting .067, having started just six games. In four of the six starts, he was lifted for a pinch-hitter and starting catcher Mike Zunino ended up finishing the game.

“He’ll back up Zunino,” Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said.

How much will he play?

“I guess the best way to answer that is his playing time will be predicated on Zunino’s performance on the field,” McClendon said. “We’re not trying to fool anybody. Mike Zunino is our everyday catcher.”

Medina, 26, made 12 appearances with the Mariners this season, posting a 3.00 ERA with seven walks and nine strikeouts in 12 innings before being optioned to Class AAA Tacoma on May 3. Medina was 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in four appearances for the Rainiers.

Last season, he appeared in 66 games and posted a 2.68 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 57 innings.

The Mariners believe they can offset the loss of Medina with some of the right-handers in Tacoma., including young right-hander Mayckol Guaipe who has been outstanding. In 13 appearances, he has posted a 2.25 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 16 innings.

Cruz’n back

A large media contingent awaited Nelson Cruz in the visitors’ dugout at Camden Yards. A year ago, he hit a MLB-leading 40 homers, earning All-Star honors for the Orioles. He helped lead Baltimore to the American League East title.

“Good memories,” he said. “I had a great time and I think we accomplished something special last year. It’s always nice to see my ex-teammates and see the fans too. It’s was a great time. It’s a great organization, great teammates, great manager and the fans treated me really well.”