Mariners manager Eric Wedge and Jack Wilson have apparently put their differences behind them.
Wedge didn’t hide his frustration after Wilson pulled himself from a game last Wednesday against the Rangers. He called Wilson’s decision “unspeakable,” among other things, and held him out of the lineup over the weekend.
However, following a conversation yesterday, Wedge has put Wilson back in the lineup for tonight’s game against the Blue Jays.
“We had another conversation yesterday and that’s it,” Wedge said. “That’s the end of it. I don’t hold grudges — never have, never will, don’t believe in them. The coaches are here for the players and it’s just one of those bumps in the road that you work through, handle as best as you can and you learn from it and you are a little bit wiser for the wear. He will be better for it, the team will be better for it and it’s time for him to get back in there playing.”
There’s a couple ways to interprete Wilson’s decision. Initially I wondered whether he was unhappy with his recent move to second base, but it’s also possible that he didn’t want his inexperience at the position to be a further liability for the team. For the Mariners’ sake, hopefully it’s the latter.
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.