Carlos Delgado has started running again following a pair of hip surgeries and told a Puerto Rican newspaper that he plans to sign with an MLB team by the end of this month:
We’ve contacted a few teams to let them know that I’m working out and I expect to return. Pretty much planting the seed. Once I can reach five days in a row doing full workouts, the doctor will feel comfortable in letting me play. The important thing is to not take any steps backwards.
Delgado hasn’t played since May of 2009, but the 38-year-old first baseman said he’d have “no problems” proving himself in the minors before a potential call-up and is hoping to play next season as well, no doubt in the hopes of adding the 27 homers needed to reach 500 for his career.
At his age being sidelined for 15 months following major surgery makes Delgado a huge question mark, but he did hit .298/.393/.521 in 26 games for the Mets before going down last season and has never been a below-average hitter. He’d certainly be worth a flier for contenders in need of some lineup help at first base or DH.
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.