“You gotta understand, there were only 28 people who had my job in
the whole world. And thousands of people
wanted those jobs, and every year, there were guys trying to take my
job. So I needed to do anything I could to protect my job, take care of
my family. Do you have any idea how much money was at stake? Do you?'”
— Lenny Dykstra, speaking in 2008 about his decision to use steroids throughout his career.
I don’t quote this for approval, by the way. I quote it merely to illustrate that fear — irrational or otherwise — not mustache-twirling evil is what motivated most steroids users. Maybe that doesn’t matter much given that (a) he still broke the rules; and (b) his fear and use may have prevented a clean player from taking his job like he otherwise might have, but I just feel the need to defend even s—heels like Dykstra from the “PED-users-are-monsters” brigade. I mean, really, there are already so many other reasons to call Dykstra a monster, why should be focus on PEDs?
This quote comes out in the publicity surrounding the new book by Lenny Dykstra, by the way. The book has surprisingly gotten publicity over its Dykstra/steroids revelations. Which is odd considering that Dykstra was named in the Mitchell Report.
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.