As Jerry Manuel continues to wonder what he’ll be doing next spring, Andy Martino of the Daily News reports that Jeff Wilpon — who, every time I think of him and his father, I think of these guys — went to a Brooklyn Cyclones game last night and met with Wally Backman in private.
Martino says Wilpon denies that they were talking about the Mets managerial job. Perhaps Backman sold Wilpon something on Craigslist, and this was merely the pickup. Who knows?
Whatever the case, I’d guess that the Mets’ job will be the biggest topic of the early offseason, though. To review, a lot of people who know the Mets think that Bob Melvin is the Wilpon’s favorite. A lot of people still think Bobby V. is the man. Backman has his backers.
Personally I think they should go with a managerial platoon with Backman handling home games and Tim Teufel taking the road games, but no one ever listens to my ideas.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins say minor league pitcher Yorman Landa has died in Venezuela. He was 22.
The club said in a statement that the Twins are “deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss.” The team did not say how he died.
Landa pitched in the 2016 season with the Fort Meyers Miracle, going 2-2 with 7 saves and a 3.24 ERA in 41 2/3 innings pitched. His career minor-league ERA was 2.66.
Landa had been on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but was dropped after the season. The organization signed him to a minor-league contract last week.
Landa was signed by the Twins in 2010 as a 16-year old from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.
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.