This is a fabulous idea:
Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen will
join Fox Sports as an analyst for the World Series. He will have
pregame and postgame duties. Guillen,
known for profanity-laced criticism of his own team at times, just
completed his sixth season as manager of the White Sox.
I know a couple of sports writers. One of them spends a fair amount of time around the White Sox. Guillen, I’m told, will hold court for long, off-the-record stretches before ballgames just talking about whatever pops into his head. Politics, entertainment, social issues, sex, race, fans in the stands during batting practice, you name it. It’s almost all hilarious and almost all 100% completely unfit for television or public consumption of any kind. The man is brutally honest, but he is the last guy I’d want to put in front of a camera to talk if I was at all worried about my job security as a television producer.
But I’m not a producer. I’m a fan who wants to be entertained. Which means that, unlike when stiffs like Kevin Kennedy and Mark Grace are the big draw, I am almost certain to watch the FOX pregame shows this year.
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.