Rangers looking at Lugo as possible utilityman

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According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, the Rangers are already exploring external options as they seek to replace the released Khalil Greene in a utility role.
Manager Ron Washington said last week that the team would stay inside the organization and choose from Joaquin Arias, Esteban German and Ray Olmero to fill the void. However, Sullivan brings up the names of Julio Lugo, Augie Ojeda and Ramon Vazquez as other possibilities.
Sullivan confirms that the Rangers have discussed Lugo amongst themselves. The Cardinals could be willing to move the veteran after signing Felipe Lopez to a one-year contract last week.
Ojeda was someone Texas considered over the winter before Arizona chose to hold on to him. He might yet come available if the Diamondbacks decide they have alternatives to serve as a backup at short.
Vazquez played for the Rangers in 2007 and 2008 before turning in a disappointing season with the Pirates last year. Pittsburgh would almost certainly be willing to move him if anyone would take on his $2 million salary.
The Rangers may wait to make a pickup until they see how Arias performs in camp. German would be a solid reserve, but he can’t play shortstop. Arias might be able to, depending on how his shoulder is doing. Arm problems have taken a toll on his throwing, and he can’t match German offensively.

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.