It’s been eleven months since Bud Selig announced that the Athletics’ future would be decided by a committee. Specifically, a committee that would determine whether Oakland remained viable, whether San Jose would be better and what in the world to do about the fact that the Giants claim Santa Clara County as their territory. That committee is expected to complete its work this week and issue it’s report to the Budster. Monte Poole of the Mercury-News thinks its conclusions were forgone:
In the 11 months that have
passed since Selig convened a committee to examine future prospects for
a ballpark in Oakland, Wolff has been about as patient as his
superficial exasperation will allow. He wants it known that he doesn’t
understand why it’s taken so long for his college fraternity brother to
abide by a basic fraternal oath: Thou shall always find a way to “hook
up” his frat brother — even if the Giants claim territorial rights.
it takes time for the commish to pull this off without making it look
as if the plot was hatched years ago, in the private room of a
steakhouse, sealed with the secret frat bro handshake.
Poole goes on to note that Selig has long been on record of (a) helping Wolff; and (b) dissing Oakland, so it’s not like Wolff isn’t going to ultimately get what he wants here.
Of course, if it was that simple this would have been done months ago. The fact that the City of San Francisco and the Giants have grown increasingly vocal about their claims to San Jose complicates things, and it would not surprise me at all if the bulk of the commission’s time has been spent trying to figure out the best way to buy them off as opposed to looking at surveys of ballpark sites in Oakland and San Jose.
Ultimately I think this gets done. It makes too much sense for Oakland to be in San Jose, the non-Giant owners probably agree, and ultimately the Giants — like the Orioles before them — will get some kind of payoff to agree to a the move.
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.