According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Orioles placed infielder Ty Wigginton on waivers Wednesday afternoon. Again, most players are placed on waivers this time of year and it’s going to be hard for a claiming team to execute a trade. So let’s not get too worked up. But it is worth talking about.
Wigginton, 32, has thrown up a mediocre .261/.334/.456 batting line in 395 at-bats this year for Baltimore and isn’t a strong defender on the infield even though the O’s have played him at a variety of positions this season.
What he does bring is power, and there isn’t a contending team in baseball that would pass on adding a reliable power bat. Wigginton, a right-handed hitter, has tallied 18 home runs, 21 doubles and 60 RBI in 394 at-bats this season. Some of that production has been aided by the cozy confines of Baltimore’s Camden Yards, but he’s no slouch.
The Twins could use Wigginton as a fill-in for Justin Morneau, who is still nursing a concussion, the Red Sox could bring him on to ease the pain of losing Kevin Youkilis, and the White Sox have been on the hunt for offense ever since July. If he passes through waivers in the American League, a host of National League teams would have interest as well. The Cardinals are looking for corner infield help, the Giants need some run-scoring potential and the Padres certainly wouldn’t mind boosting their bench. We’ll see if something can be pulled off.
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.