Molina: "the Mets weren't really interested in me"

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Bengie Molina gave the Daily News some inside dish on his offseason courtship by the Mets:

“Yesterday, I was talking to my cousin, she’s from New York, and she
said, ‘Do you think they just did it for the heck of it, just so people
don’t say they didn’t (try to make a big signing)?’ In my opinion, I think they did, because I think
if they really wanted me, they would have made a better offer so I
could be happy to go to New York . . . If they would’ve offered me two
years, I would’ve been there already.  Right from the beginning, I told them, I said, ‘Hey, listen. You’re
gonna have to give me two years at least, because that’s the only way
I’m going over there. They knew, they knew from the
beginning . . . I told them, they knew, and for three months, they
didn’t move the offer. They didn’t move to anything but one year, $5.5
(million). That told me that they weren’t really interested in me.”

Despite everything that happened this offseason, this should give Mets fans some hope regarding their front office.  Multiple years and many millions to Bengie Molina would have been a dumb play, and good for the Mets for apparently not even entertaining the notion.

Twins’ minor league pitcher Landa dies in Venezuela

FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 05:  Yorman Landa #81 of the Minnesota Twins makes a throw to first base during the fourth inning of a spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles at Hammond Stadium on March 5, 2016 in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins say minor league pitcher Yorman Landa has died in Venezuela. He was 22.

The club said in a statement that the Twins are “deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss.” The team did not say how he died.

Landa pitched in the 2016 season with the Fort Meyers Miracle, going 2-2 with 7 saves and a 3.24 ERA in 41 2/3 innings pitched. His career minor-league ERA was 2.66.

Landa had been on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but was dropped after the season. The organization signed him to a minor-league contract last week.

Landa was signed by the Twins in 2010 as a 16-year old from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.

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.