Ken Williams is never shy about making big moves and the White Sox general manager said yesterday that he’s considering whether to “turn over the entire roster” if the third-place, 50-51 team doesn’t show signs of improvement between now and Sunday’s trade deadline.
Williams told Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago that the White Sox have some proposed deals on the table that would kick-start a rebuilding effort by trading away veterans, but denied specific reports about offering Edwin Jackson and Matt Thornton to the Cardinals for Colby Rasmus.
I don’t want anyone to feel as though anything imminent is coming. I want the focus to be on these next number of games so we can put ourselves in position to maybe add rather than to subtract. I would much rather continue to fight the fight, but we need a little more consistency.
On one hand, you can look toward potentially adding. We’d have to add creatively because of the financial situation right now. And on the other hand, maybe this is the most opportune time to turn over the entire roster and get some young, exciting players in here and go that route.
An interesting subplot to Williams potentially dealing away multiple veterans is whether he’d still want Ozzie Guillen around to manage the rebuild and/or whether Guillen would want to go elsewhere rather than suffer through some lean times with a much younger roster.
In addition to Jackson and Thornton, some other White Sox veterans who could potentially appeal to contenders include Carlos Quentin, Gavin Floyd, A.J. Pierzynski, Omar Vizquel, and Jesse Crain. Paul Konerko and Mark Buehrle presumably aren’t going anywhere and it’s tough to imagine any teams pursuing Juan Pierre, Jake Peavy, Alex Rios, or Adam Dunn.
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.