Talking to CBSSports.com’s Scott Miller, Michael Cuddyer said he’d be OK with waiving his limited no-trade clause and accepting a deal out of Minnesota if it’d help the franchise.
As Cuddyer himself admitted, his no-trade clause really isn’t an obstacle in the first place. It blocks trades to just three teams, and Cuddyer wasn’t even positive which teams they are.
“Can’t remember,” he told Miller. “I think Oakland is one. Toronto. And … I’m not sure.”
Cuddyer, who hopes to stay in Minnesota in 2012 and beyond, is in the final year of an extension he signed back in 2008. That contract included $24 million guaranteed, but since the Twins picked up the 2011 option, the deal ended up being worth $33.5 million over four years.
After a very slow start — he didn’t drive in a single run until his 17th game of the season — Cuddyer is up to .282/.347/.449 for the year. He has five homers in June and 10 overall.
Plus, while Cuddyer doesn’t have a lot of defensive value, his ability to step in and serve as a stopgap anywhere other than shortstop or catcher makes him a nice guy to have around. He’s started 30 games in right, 17 games at first and 13 games at second this year.
The Braves, Mariners, Phillies, Reds and Diamondbacks are a few of the contenders that he might be able to help.
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.