For the past month or so, the Blue Jays’ chain of command has been in apparent disarray. Cito Gaston told the media that the team wasn’t interested in retaining Rod Barajas. J.P. Ricciardi basically told the fans that they have no reason to root for Toronto. Now Gaston is once again out there, acting as the team’s defacto spokesman and playing hot stove pundit:
Halladay was on a spinning table, like the second item up for
display on The Price is Right, for 26 days in July before the Jays
ruled everyone had underbid. Whether it is this off-season or next
July’s deadline, they’ll receive less.
“If we don’t add anybody this winter, or go get somebody that
can help, I doubt we keep him,” manager Cito Gaston said. “That’s my
opinion. I don’t know that. Would it make any sense to keep him?
We can argue about whether keeping Halladay is a good idea, but is it really the manager’s place to be speculating, hypothesizing and pontificating about the team’s personnel moves like this? Better question: is there anyone in charge in Toronto?
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.