The White Sox sent assistant general manager Dave Yokum to watch Braves pitchers last week, leading to speculation that GM Ken Williams might be interested in dealing for some of Atlanta’s excess pitching.
According to CSNChicago.com, one of the pitchers the White Sox were eyeing was Brandon Beachy, though the 24-year-old looks far from expendable given his 3.23 ERA and 72/15 K/BB ratio in 61 1/3 innings as a rookie this season.
The Braves, though, could certainly use a bat, and the White Sox might be willing to trade Carlos Quentin if they can get a long-term starting pitcher in return. Quentin has bounced back to hit .253/.351/.512 with 17 homers and 49 RBI this season, and he was named to the All-Star team Sunday. The White Sox would lose quite a bit by taking him out of the lineup, but they do have Dayan Viciedo ready for an opportunity in a corner-outfield slot.
It is hard to imagine the Braves signing off on a Beachy-for-Quentin swap, but Mike Minor for Quentin could work for both sides. Minor, the seventh overall selection in the 2009 draft, wouldn’t crack the White Sox rotation right away, but he would be a fine choice to step in next year with both Mark Buehrle and Edwin Jackson potentially departing through free agency.
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.