During a radio interview this morning Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi revealed
that Roy Halladay is not interesting in signing a long-term extension
and plans to hit the open market once his contract expires after next
season, which helps explain why the Blue Jays are shopping their ace.
“What’s changed is Roy has told us that he’s going to test the
free-agent market,” Ricciardi said, adding that the Blue Jays’ public,
self-imposed July 28 deadline to trade Halladay “can fluctuate … if
we’re down the road with something” but “if we’re not down the road by
the 28th, nothing’s going to happen.”
Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports
that the Phillies remain the front-runners for Halladay and the Blue
Jays sent assistant general manager Tony LaCava to scout 21-year-old
pitching prospect Kyle Drabek’s latest start at Double-A despite
previous speculation that Philadelphia is unwilling to include him a
Bastian also notes that the Yankees, White Sox, Brewers, Dodgers,
Cardinals, Rangers, and Red Sox “have been tied to Halladay in various
reports.” However, according to Ricciardi “only a few teams have
approached him with serious interest” in Halladay. “Some are serious
and some I would say are delirious,” Ricciardi said.
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.