Chapman establishes residency in Andorra

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Quick, find Andorra on a map. Not so
easy, is it? It’s safe to say Aroldis Chapman didn’t know it where it
was either before he decided to defect from Cuba. However, the
21-year-old fireballer
has now established residency in the country, clearing a major hurdle to become a major league free agent.



Chapman walked out of his hotel in Rotterdam, the Netherlands
while Cuba was participating in a baseball tournament in July. His
location was not immediately known, but it appears that he was savvy
enough to take advantage of a major-league loophole which allows
players from third-party countries — no longer a product of the U.S.
embargo with Cuba — to enter the free-agent pool as opposed to the
draft. Because Chapman had a passport, he was able to get the wheels in
motion rather quickly. Another bonus, Andorra has no income tax, so
he’ll save a pretty penny in the end.




According to SI.com, Chapman may be
available for free agency before the playoffs begin. While there’s a wide
range of opinion about his skills, one scouting director told
SI.com that he projects more as a middle reliever than a front-end major league
starter. Either way, don’t expect the Yankees or Red Sox to shy away
from his 101 MPH fastball.

Orioles are eying Welington Castillo as their primary catcher target

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 25: Welington Castillo #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks warms up prior to taking an at bat against the Baltimore Orioles in the second inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 25, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
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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.

Report: Phillies agree to minor league deal with Daniel Nava

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 12:  Daniel Nava #12 of the Kansas City Royals bats during the game against the Oakland Athletics at Kauffman Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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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.