The Mets are still missing David Wright and Ike Davis, but they’re about to get one of their regulars back in the starting lineup.
According to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com, Mets manager Terry Collins said this afternoon that Angel Pagan will play one game with Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday before being activated from the disabled list for Friday’s series opener against the Phillies.
Pagan has been sidelined since April 21 with a strained left oblique. He was on the verge of returning earlier this month, but was shut down after feeling more pain in his side. He went 1-for-3 with an RBI double, two walks a run scored in a rehab game with High-A St. Lucie earlier this afternoon and is batting .263 (5-for-19) with one home run, one double and two RBI during his most recent rehab assignment.
The Mets moved Carlos Beltran to right field with the idea of using Pagan as their everyday center fielder, but the 29-year-old was batting just .159/.259/.246 with one home run and six RBI over his first 82 plate appearances prior to being placed on the disabled list. Pagan was one of the most valuable members of the team last year, so that probably buys him a bit of time to get back up to speed, but it will interesting to see if Terry Collins runs out of patience should he continue to struggle.
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.