Winter meetings notes: Day 1

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Let’s touch on some stuff that didn’t make it into the blog entries:
*ESPN’s Jayson Stark says the Blue Jays and Dodgers discussed Roy Halladay but didn’t find a match.
In no small part because the Dodgers are apparently flat broke.
*The Mariners are talking to free agent reliever Darren Oliver about a contract, says FOXSports.com.
Perhaps Jack Zduriencik’s biggest misstep in his rookie year as the Mariners’ GM was giving away Eric O’Flaherty on waivers. The team could use a lefty for the bullpen, and besides Mike Gonzalez, Oliver would seem to be the best option available.
*The Red Sox met with Justin Duchscherer’s agent on Sunday night, according to WEEI.com.
It’d be an upset if Boston didn’t land one or two pitchers from the group of high-upside-but-injury-prone pitchers that includes Ben Sheets, Rich Harden, Erik Bedard, Duchscherer and Kelvim Escobar. I’d put John Smoltz and Pedro Martinez in that class as well, but the Red Sox aren’t going there.
*The Yankees and Mets have joined the Red Sox in inquiring about Escobar, says Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Escobar is considering pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League to show teams what he can do. He’ll probably have to if he expects to land a guaranteed contract. Otherwise, he’d only be worth a flier on a minor league contract.
*SI.com’s Jon Heyman thinks the Mets’ forthcoming offer to Bengie Molina could be a one-year deal worth $6 million with an option for 2011.
As the top catcher on the market, Molina won’t be quick to take a one-year offer. The Giants might be willing to re-sign him if he backs down from his request for a multiyear pact, so the Mets will probably have to guarantee that second year if they hope to bring him in.

Twins’ minor league pitcher Landa dies in Venezuela

FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 05:  Yorman Landa #81 of the Minnesota Twins makes a throw to first base during the fourth inning of a spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles at Hammond Stadium on March 5, 2016 in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins say minor league pitcher Yorman Landa has died in Venezuela. He was 22.

The club said in a statement that the Twins are “deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss.” The team did not say how he died.

Landa pitched in the 2016 season with the Fort Meyers Miracle, going 2-2 with 7 saves and a 3.24 ERA in 41 2/3 innings pitched. His career minor-league ERA was 2.66.

Landa had been on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but was dropped after the season. The organization signed him to a minor-league contract last week.

Landa was signed by the Twins in 2010 as a 16-year old from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.

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.