Earlier today I noted how Silicon Valley CEOs are getting on board the bring-the-A’s-to-San Jose train. I said that I thought this was a weird thing for tech company CEOs to be doing, inasmuch as it shows a boosterism — and an economic ignorance — that is usually reserved for politicians and car dealers and insurance executives. My general thinking: you’d think our leading edge technology CEOs would be above that kind of provincial stuff.
A regular reader from the Bay Area — not APBA guy, BTW — wrote in to tell me, no, they most certainly aren’t above that provincial stuff:
It drives them nuts that San Jose “which is larger than San Francisco”
remains the second sister (or even the third) of the Bay Area. And it
really drives them nuts that most of the world renown of the region goes
to this vague term “Silicon Valley” instead of the much more bankable
“San Jose”. And I can assure you that they have plans to call them the
“San Jose A’s” and every single telecast say, “in the capital
of Silicon Valley” or something like that.
And even further, I am
guessing that the SVLG is made up of a bunch of former orchard owner’s
grandchildren who now own every low-rise office park that carpets this
fine valley, and that they are every single bit the Midwestern insurance
company/car dealer mentality, writ slightly more Cabernet-loving and
Ferrari-affording due to their lucky geographic location.
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.