Roy Oswalt addressed
reporters on Saturday, one day after it was revealed that his agent
Bob Garber informed Astros owner Drayton McLane of his request for a trade (via
Fallas of the Houston Chronicle).
“I don’t want
to think I’m leaving because we’re not doing well,” Oswalt said
Saturday. “I have a small window (to return to the playoffs).”
Oswalt, 32, has two guaranteed years remaining on his contract. The veteran right-hander hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2005, when the Astros lost to the White Sox in the World Series. Though he has shifted his focus to joining an “immediate contender,” Oswalt said that he would consider coming back to Houston
to finish his career.
“I told (Astros
owner) Drayton (McLane) I’d love to come back and finish my career,”
Oswalt said. “I’d play another year just to do that.”
It’s one thing to read these quotes, but I recommend you watch this video posted by Alyson Footer, the Astros’ senior director of social media. Oswalt isn’t big on being the center of attention, but his reasoning sounds pretty straightforward and honest. Let’s hope Oswalt’s friend Drayton McLane does him and his team a favor by sending him to a contender and netting a few promising prospects in return.
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.