For those Dodgers fans who aren’t jumping on the Giants bandwagon — anyone? — Bill Shaikin of the Times has the latest. Among the interesting points:
- While Frank has taken over baseball operations from fired team President Dennis Mannion, a man named Geoff Wharton, whose background is in real estate, not sports, has taken over business operations. This would suggest to me that Frank’s plans to develop the Dodger Stadium parking lot remain front-burnered. Which is rather depressing;
- Some talk about what might happen if Jamie wins the court case. This passage is curious: “Jamie realizes the chance of other owners approving her as proprietor of the Dodgers is close to zero.” You know, nothing good at all has come out of this case so far, but if Jamie does win, and a court says, yes, she does and always has been owner of the Dodgers, watching Major League Baseball attempt to keep her out of the owners club would be pretty hilarious. Maybe not worth it, but certainly something redeeming, as I think the fact that baseball thinks it can legally pick and choose owners is downright ridiculous; and
- People in Los Angeles are actually hoping Magic Johnson might buy the team. I know he’s a mogul and all, but that’s a pretty sad comment. Johnson dismisses the idea out of hand because unlike Dodgers fans, he’s not suffering from abuse-induced delusions.
But hey, how about them Giants!
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.