I liked last week’s Nate McLouth trade
better from the Braves’ point of view and felt that the Pirates didn’t
get a particularly good package of prospects in return, so it’s tough
to blame his ex-teammates in Pittsburgh for being upset about McLouth’s
With that said, their collective reaction might be just a bit over the top. For instance, here’s Adam LaRoche on the trade:
It’s kind of like being with your platoon in a battle, and guys keep
dropping around you. You keep hanging on, hanging on, and you’ve got to
figure: How much longer till you sink?
And here’s how Dejan Kovacevic the Pittsburgh Post Gazette described the clubhouse scene:
In one corner of the Pirates’ clubhouse at PNC Park, the small,
circular metal table between the stalls of relievers Sean Burnett and
Jesse Chavez had a candle lit atop it, adorned by the No. 13 of Nate
McLouth and an accompanying photo of him in full uniform.
McLouth was well-liked by teammates and is certainly a solid player,
but at the end of the day we’re talking about lighting candles, laying
out pictures, and comparing the trade to losing platoon-mates in battle
because a non-contending team dealt a career .260/.339/.460 hitter for
some prospects in the hopes of stockpiling enough talent to eventually
have a winning season for the first time since 1992.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.