Troy Glaus said yesterday that he’s “back to normal” and has “no limitations” after shoulder surgery limited him to just 14 games last season:
There’s no doubt that it feels better than it did in September. I was able to have a full winter of working out and getting in shape. During the last offseason and throughout the last season, all I could do is concentrate on rehabbing the shoulder. I couldn’t work out. I couldn’t lift weights. So my strength was down.
Glaus will have to get used to playing first base after a dozen seasons spent almost exclusively across the diamond, but he’s just one year removed from hitting .270/.372/.483 with 27 homers and if healthy can make a huge impact between Chipper Jones and Brian McCann in Atlanta’s lineup. Getting him for just $2 million was an excellent risk for the Braves to take and batting cleanup should give him a ton of RBI chances.
All of which is why Glaus was one of my fantasy “sleeper” picks among National League hitters. On average he’s being drafted 333rd overall in mixed leagues, but Glaus still has third base eligibility and the Rotoworld Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide projecting him to hit .252/.359/.463 with 26 homers and 87 RBIs would make him a top-15 option at the position.
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.