Kyle Seager - Bowman

Mariners call up surging Kyle Seager

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It looks like Chone Figgins is about to start spending a lot more time on the bench.

The Mariners announced after Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to the Mariners that they’re promoting 2009 third-round pick Kyle Seager to the majors.  The University of North Carolina product had been on an absolute tear in his two weeks in Triple-A, hitting .455/.500/.673 in 55 at-bats.

Before that, Seager hit .312/.381/.459 in Double-A to begin the season.  He came in at .345/.419/.503 last year, but that was at High Desert in the California League, one of the five best offensive environments in the minors.  As a result, Seager wasn’t taken very seriously as a top prospect entering the season.  He’s earned his chance by keeping it going at higher levels, though.

Seager was primarily a second baseman in the minors, and the Mariners left him there in Double-A this year even though they had their No. 1 propsect, Dustin Ackley, ready to take over at that position in the majors.  Recently, Seager had been playing a lot more third base, and he figures to see most of his starts there in the majors.  It’s possible he may yet end up at second base if the Mariners decide Ackley would be better off in the outfield.

Figgins becomes the odd man out.  He’s hitting just .183/.231/.244 in the second year of a four-year, $36 million contract.  The Mariners only hope of moving him is to take another bad contract in return, and those kinds of deals are usually easier to pull off over the winter than during the season.

Getting dropped to make room for Seager on the roster was catcher Jose Yepez.

Orioles are eying Welington Castillo as their primary catcher target

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 25: Welington Castillo #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks warms up prior to taking an at bat against the Baltimore Orioles in the second inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 25, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
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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.

Report: Phillies agree to minor league deal with Daniel Nava

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 12:  Daniel Nava #12 of the Kansas City Royals bats during the game against the Oakland Athletics at Kauffman Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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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.