UPDATE: Peace in our time.
11:32 AM: In the wake of the Jorge Posada Sit-down-a-palooza, Derek Jeter had this to say:
“My reaction was that I didn’t think it was that big a deal,” Jeter said about the Posada incident. “If you need a day, you need a day. It’s over. It’s done. It’s not the first time a player asked out of a lineup. Joe says if you feel like you need a day, let him know. It’s understandable … Let the person dealing with it go first. I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.”
That last bit seemed to refer to Brian Cashman and his in-game comments on Saturday, suggesting that Cashman spoke out of turn. Jeter also said that he didn’t think that Posada had to apologize and that it wasn’t a big deal. Now Buster Olney reports that those comments have angered the Yankees’ front office who, according to Olney, were so mad at Posada over all of this that they considered releasing him on the spot.
Setting that insta-release stuff aside — really? — why on Earth someone in the Yankees front office felt it necessary to tell Buster Olney that they’re mad at Jeter over all of this is beyond me. While the big picture issue of what to do with Posada isn’t going away any time soon, this little controversy was over. It was dying, wrapped up with an apology and a standing ovation from the fans 24 hours after the the flareup began. And now someone — Randy Levine? Cashman? A random Steinbrenner? — is throwing gas on the fire?
There was a time when the Yankees front office fought with its own players. Then there was an extended time when it did not. That latter period correlated with the greatest success the team had seen in decades. I won’t say that peace caused the success because that overstates the power of harmony in an undeniably chaotic world, but it sure as hell didn’t hurt it.
I understand that Posada’s act was frustrating and that Jeter’s comments could be construed as critical of Cashman (though I think they were pretty tame ). But the suits not taking the high road here is not good for anyone.
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.