Luis Castillo has one year and $6 million left on his contract, but told Mike Puma of the New York Post that he doesn’t expect to be back with the Mets next season after losing his starting job at second base to 20-year-old rookie Ruben Tejada.
I feel this offseason they can work out something. I need to play. This has been a tough year for me. I got hurt and I came back and played a couple of games and then I saw the moves they were doing, letting the young guys play. Maybe 20 more days here and I’ll be prepared to work out for next season. I want to see if I can get a chance to play next year because I’m going to be a free agent after that and I want to have a good year and put up good numbers.
Castillo told Puma that he came to the conclusion that he’s done in New York after talking to the front office about his status, which while no doubt true may not mean a whole lot if the current front office isn’t actually in charge in a month. Of course, regardless of who’s running the Mets after this season they’ll probably be interested in unloading Castillo.
As was the case last offseason, if the Mets want to move Castillo they’ll have to either eat a large portion of his remaining salary or swap him for another undesirable contract.
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.