We probably should have known as much, but FanHouse’s Jeff
Fletcher reports that Bud Selig said today that he’s “comfortable” with no further
expansion of instant replay.
Which means he’s comfortable with blown calls that don’t need to be blown. He’s comfortable with pennant races and possibly playoff games altered as a result of an inability to overrule obvious mistakes from an increasingly fallible umpire corps. He’s comfortable with baseball becoming the object of ridicule the next time some high profile gaffe occurs in which millions see what should have happened but the four men in blue who missed it aren’t allowed to see it themselves.
I’m sorry, but this is unacceptable. I am all for tradition and conservatism and incremental change when it comes to baseball, but at some point the burden of proof shifted from those who wanted instant replay to make its case for such a beast to those who would deny all sense and all technology to prevent its implementation to make theirs.
I don’t care if Bud Selig is comfortable. I want to hear from him why we should be comfortable in allowing baseball to continue to ignore reality and technology and stick with a system that gave us the Galarraga call and so many mistakes last fall.
I don’t think he has a good reason.
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.