Ed Barkowitz of the Philadelphia Daily News writes today that Jamie Moyer is “entering the Hall of Fame conversation.” The case is not a surprising one: wins and age. He’s lasted forever and thus he’s starting to get near big names in the win column, Barkowitz basically says, so that makes him a legitimate contender for Cooperstown.
I don’t think Moyer is a Hall of Famer (more below) but I actually think Berkowtiz’s wins rationale does Moyer’s case a bit of a disservice. Moyer’s famous longevity has done more than merely produce wins for himself. Longevity and durability is a value to a team in and of itself in that, the more often and more regularly he takes the hill, the better off the team is in terms of resource allocation and all of that kind of stuff. I’m not a stat guy so I won’t risk mangling the statistical case, but know that Moyer’s longevity has provided an aggregate value to his employers that isn’t fully captured by merely reciting his win totals.
But no, I still don’t think it’s enough value to be considered a Hall of Famer. Maybe I’d consider using my (imaginary) vote for him if he did something truly unique like hung around until he was 50 and got his 300th win (at some point sentimentality and round numbers do affect me), but Moyer is really just the ultimate longevity-guy, and I don’t think I could ever vote for someone who never had even a short Hall of Fame peak.
I think that’s ultimately where the BBWAA will come down too. He’ll get some votes as thanks for being a good guy and a nice story, but he won’t get serious consideration. Which isn’t to say he hasn’t been a heck of a pitcher — he has — just that he hasn’t really made himself worthy of enshrinement among the elites.
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.