Baseball is trying to cut out the junk food

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Don’t freak out — you’ll still be able to get  your Luther Burger at Gateway Grizzlies games — this is about the players eating better:

At baseball’s just-concluded winter meetings in Indianapolis, major
and minor league strength and conditioning coaches devoted 12 hours on
Saturday–about half of their total meeting time–to discussing matters
such as including edamame and snow peas in the postgame buffet to
whether teams should order “fun size” candy bars rather than the odious
regular-sized variety.

“There’s nothing wrong with a Reese’s peanut butter cup every now
and then,” says Perry Castellano, the Minnesota Twins’ strength and
conditioning coordinator. “The issue is when somebody eats eight at a
time.”

The article says that the trainers are trying to do things like introduce edamame to the post-game buffet and that the Phillies and Rays are
experimenting with the idea of giving players foods rich in antioxidant grains like “quinoa,” “teff” and “spelt,” whatever the hell that is.  This is dangerous territory, though: Ask yourself: if you’re a free agent, and team A is offering you $25 million and burgers and team B is offering you $25 million and “spelt,” who are you signing with?

Seriously though, it has always amazed me that big time professional
athletes are basically given boxes of free candy bars and cookies and
burgers and stuff right inside the locker room before and after games like baseball players are. 
No, there aren’t a ton of really out-of-shape ballplayers, but there
isn’t a team that doesn’t have at least one guy who ate his way out of
being a productive player in recent years. Why make it easier for them
by having garbage around?

So I agree with the article: teams should totally go the healthy route by replacing big candy bars with “fun size” candy bars and burgers with White Castle sliders.  You know, for the good of the players.

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.