Eric Byrnes, who was designated for assignment by the Diamondbacks last week, told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that he would be interested in signing with his hometown Giants:
“It’s not a real secret (that) I’d definitely be interested,” Byrnes
said in a phone interview. “The Giants, of course, that’s the best fit
Byrnes, who turns 34 next month, grew up a Giants fan and still keeps
an offseason home in the area. He’d be available to sign anywhere at
the league minimum once he’s officially released by Arizona.
The Giants are set with Mark DeRosa and Aaron Rowand in left
and center, respectively, and it looks like Nate
Schierholtz will finally be provided a chance for a regular gig in right. At least Byrnes is amenable to being a complimentary piece, telling Shea “I’m not in a position to say
I’m an everyday player.”
Byrnes batted .226/.270/.390 with eight home runs, 31 RBI and nine stolen bases in 239 at-bats with the Diamondbacks last season, but missed more than two months with a fractured left hand.
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.