Bailey Stephens of MLB.com has an update from our baseball friends overseas.
The Chibba Lotte Marines defeated the Chunichi Dragons 8-7 on Sunday to win the Japan Series — a series that featured the longest game in the league’s history.
The Marines and Dragons battled to a 2-2 tie* after six hours and 43 minutes in Game 6 Saturday.
That led to Sunday’s decisive Game 7, whenYoshifumi Okada knocked in the go-ahead run with an RBI triple in the top of the 12th to lead the Marines to the club’s first Japan Series title since 2005. Current ESPN analyst and active managerial candidate Bobby Valentine was that 2005 team’s manager.
The Marines finished third place in the Pacific League regular season standings, but had a Giants-like run through the playoffs.
*Bud Selig was not spotted in the stands. No word yet on whether he called for the cease in action from another locale.
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.