When Fredi Gonzalez was fired the other day Bobby Cox — Gonzalez’s former boss — was quoted waxing admiringly about Gonzalez. He said some stuff about Jeff Loria too, however. Fun stuff that I didn’t see until this morning:
“I know that guy is unpredictable, but I was still . . . After
everything [Gonzalez] has done for that guy, are you s——- me? [The
Marlins] have gone down to the end every year, playing their asses off.
That guy doesn’t appreciate anything. He’s one of those guys that thinks
you change [for the sake of change]. He’s always wanting to fire the
coaches, always. That’s his history.”
I’d love to know what “[for the sake of change]” was covering for. I’m guessing it was a “for the ______ of it” kind of thing.
In other news, Dave Rudin of the Stamford Advocate (Stamford is Bobby’s home town, by the way) has been texting with Bobby Valentine over the past 24 hours. The upshot: Valentine isn’t sayin’ nothin.
Probably a good move. As Joe Capozzi — the guy who quoted Valentine as denying the “Valentine starts Monday” report this morning — just said, the Heyman report to that effect is probably true, but Valentine has to deny it so that the Marlins can go through the motions of interviewing Edwin Rodriguez and Bo Porter, which the Marlins are pretty clearly using as token candidates.
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.