When the news hit last week that the feds wanted to talk to Alex Rodriguez about Anthony Galea, the Canadian doctor in the cross-hairs of an HGH investigation, A-Rod said “this was about someone else.” The impression which was created, whether A-Rod intended to create it with those words or not, was that he never received treatment from Galea. For their part, the Yankees said that they knew nothing about A-Rod being treated by Galea and said that they never authorized such a thing.
Which makes this all rather problematic:
A sports doctor at the centre of drug
investigations in Canada and the United States said Monday he treated
Alex Rodriguez after the Yankees slugger had hip surgery last year and
prescribed anti-inflammatories but not human growth hormone . . . “He had a damaged hip. Inflamed. It was damaged,” Galea said in an
interview at his clinic. “He needed anti-inflammatories for his hip. I
was basically helping in the rehab.”
The Yankees are standing by their statement that they never approved such treatment. Which could be a big problem if the treatment is determined to have been necessary as opposed to elective, because a team is supposed to sign off on necessary treatments (see, Beltran, Carlos).
The New York media went bananas last week trying to turn this into a steroids story. It’s really not, not even as it applies to A-Rod. It is, however, starting to look like another one of those A-Rod-lives-to-create-PR-headache stories, and the New York media is really good at going bananas over those too. So it looks like a sleepy spring training in Tampa just woke the hell up.
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.