MLB is pushing Hicks' creditors to sign-off on the Rangers sale

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Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram reports that MLB is stepping in to the Tom Hicks-HSG Creditors dispute in an effort to get the Rangers sale locked down:

The last obstacle delaying the sale of the Texas Rangers could be
cleared this week, thanks to an assist from Major League Baseball. Sources
confirmed that the lenders who hold $525 million in Hicks Sports
Group debt were sent a request from MLB to reach a settlement with HSG by the end of the week.
An
agreement would allow the deal in place with Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan to move forward toward final approval from baseball’s club
owners.

Look, I know I’ve been critical and pessimistic about this deal for a long time, but believe me when I say that I don’t mean to be pessimistic when I ask why a request from Major League Baseball to the creditors would constitute “an assist” that could make this get put to bed any faster than it otherwise would.  If it were more than a request — if say, MLB kicked in some money or promises or something that could help bridge the gap between Hicks and his creditors — I could see how that could wrap things up.

But what would a mere request from a non-party to the debt really do? If the creditors are trying to squeeze money out of Hicks to let this thing happen, the only thing that will make them do so is more money. From everything that has been reported these creditors are trying to take advantage of their temporary leverage to extract as much dough as possible. Based on this report all baseball is doing is asking these guys to get the deal done on Greenberg and Ryan’s timetable. So what? Everyone has been wanting that for months.

My guess, and it is just a guess, is that one of two things is happening: (1) Wilson is being a tad optimistic about what MLB’s “request” could accomplish and reaches his “assist” conclusion a bit too hastily; or (2) Baseball has done more than “request” that the deal get done. Rather, they’ve offered something to the creditors to facilitate it but understandably don’t want to be seen as bailing out Hicks any more than they already have.

Either way, everyone is saying that they think this will be done the week of April 19th. 

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.