As expected, Michael Young made his way to Rangers’ camp in Surprise, Arizona earlier today.
Young quickly cut to the chase upon his arrival, taking questions from the media about his recent trade request. According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Young said that he will not address trade rumors this spring.
“I’m here to get ready for baseball season,” Young said. “This is the time of year that I love. I’m excited to be here and I want to get out and play. After all this is done, I still have a season to get ready for. The whole day and a half I spent driving here, this situation wasn’t on my mind; getting ready for the season was. I’ve had a couple of candid conversations with Nolan Ryan. He knows where I’m at and I know where he’s at. To address trade rumors would disrupt my teammates from getting prepared for the season and I’m not going to do that.”
Young also said that he doesn’t want to put any more “gasoline on the fire” as far as his current situation with the club, but added that he doesn’t feel there’s any need to speak with Rangers general manager Jon Daniels. He’s not very good at this, is he?
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.