Joakim Soria is smart for at least two reasons. First: he understands that one cannot choose one’s own nickname. Second, he understands that being called “Mexicutioner” is a pretty tough thing these days given all of the execution-style killings going down in his native Mexico. In light of this, he offered a plea this morning:
how about if we change my nickname to something positive? in support to mexico to stop all the violence !!!
I’m not a big fan of sports-as-symbolism — I thought it was tremendously weak when the Washington Bullets changed their name to the Wizards — but I understand how this is different to Soria. It’s a personal appellation for one thing, not a team name. It’s also way more on-the-nose with respect to the violence in Mexico than “Bullets” was to violence in D.C. in the mid-90s. And at least “Bullets” had a different intention (i.e. “faster than a speeding …”). I totally get his discomfort and I’m on board with him wanting to have it changed.
But what it gets changed to is kind of up to us, isn’t it? I don’t know that I have any ideas that he’d actually be cool with. Most that spring to mind have to do with him being the lone elite talent on the Royals, and something tells me that he wouldn’t get on board with that sort of thing.
Ideas in the thread. Nickname dissemination is an inexact science, but I’ll try to get the best one trending and maybe it will stick.
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.