I missed this last week, but apparently Brian Sabean said that he had planned on trading Bengie Molina all along:
Giants GM Brian Sabean revealed Wednesday that he knew from the moment he signed Molina that the club would trade him later in the summer . . . “That was the plan almost going all the way back to the winter meetings (in December). We were fortuitous that Bengie turned down the Mets and signed with us. But (if not), we would’ve signed another catcher and lined it up the same way, because Buster wasn’t ready.”
This did not sit well with Molina, who had this to say to the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday:
“That tells you what a person he is, I guess. He never tells me anything. I wish he would have told me before they signed me. I would not have signed.”
On the other hand, if you’re Bengie Molina — or especially if you’re Bengie Molina’s agent — how can you not assume that, given the presence of a phenom catcher in Posey, that Molina was not going to be trade bait prior to signing last winter? From the moment Molina hit free agency people assumed that he was a short-timer in San Francisco if he came back. People even wondered whether he wasn’t destined to be the backup right out of spring training. Given that he still had defensive value, it seemed inevitable that he would be shopped, barring injury. He’s a smart guy, so he had to know that too.
So, I feel ya, Bengie. I really do. Sabean is kind of a jerk. But in this case you don’t have a ton of room to be hurt.
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.