More Tweety fun from SI’s Jon Heyman:
Angels offered abreu a 2-year extension for about $16 million. after MVP calibre year with LAA, he is looking for more.
This is ridiculous for a couple of reasons. For starters, I have a hard time featuring the Angels, who are, you know, getting ready to play the ALCS, conducting contract negotiations with Abreu. Arte Moreno and his crew are too smart to create distractions like that in the middle of the playoffs. If this offer actually ever happened, I’m betting that it happened a couple of weeks ago. It’s also possible that someone is pulling Heyman’s chain, be it the team or Abreu’s people.
I’d guess it’s Abreu’s people, because the substance of the post itself is silly, and seems calculated to kiss a little butt. Abreu had a nice season for the salary he was paid, and provided some much-needed on base ability for the Angels, but it was by no means an “MVP calibre year.” Indeed, by some measures it was among Abreu’s worst years (power; OPS+, defense).
$16 million over two years is probably defensible enough from the Angels’ perspective. High if they have any outfield prospects of any value who could come in and take his place, but nothing that’s going to break the bank. If Abreu really does manage to find someone to pay him substantially more than that, however, that someone will likely be overpaying.
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.