It’s going to be a weird scene at Nats Park tonight for two reasons: 1. Jayson Werth is facing the Phillies for the first time since he signed his mega-deal with the Nats; and 2. Because it’s the Phillies in Washington, the park will likely be full of Philly fans invading the place like they did last year.
Which has me thinking that we have a two-tiered ethical question:
1. Is it acceptable to boo the guy who left the team for a ridiculous contract that your team never would have ever offered him?; and
2. Even if the answer is yes, is it acceptable to boo him in his own home park which you and several thousand of your friends happen to be invading?
It seems to me that booing Werth would more acceptable if he somehow truly spurned the Phillies, but the kind of money the Nats gave him was insane. Ruben Amaro would have been making a huge mistake to offer Werth that kind of cash, so Phillies fans should have a hard time holding it against him.
Likewise, it’s one thing to come to another team’s park like the Phillies fans do en masse — hey, if Nats fans don’t like it they can buy more tickets — but to boo in that park, on potentially dubious grounds?
Hmmm … it’s times like this when we need Emily Post to weigh in.
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.