UPDATE: Scott Miller of CBSSports.com reports that the Nationals will receive prospect outfielder Erik Komatsu from the Brewers. Komatsu is batting .294/.393/.416 with six homers, 40 RBI, 13 stolen bases and an .809 OPS over 379 plate appearances with Double-A Huntsville this season. The 23-year-old has an impressive 163/161 K/BB ratio in the minors. He was ranked as the organization’s No. 14 prospect coming into the season by Baseball America.
11:42 AM: ESPN’s Chris Singleton reports that the Brewers have acquired utility man Jerry Hairston Jr. from the Nationals. No word who the Brewers will sent to Washington in the deal.
Hairston, 35, is batting .268/.342/.385 with four homers, 24 RBI and a .727 OPS over 238 plate appearances this season.
The Brewers lost Rickie Weeks to an ankle injury earlier this week and Casey McGehee has struggled all season at third base, so Hairston could be a solution at either position. Yuniesky Betancourt has swung the bat better lately, but he’s, well, Yuniesky Betancourt. Hairston could also play center field in a pinch, providing a backup to Nyjer Morgan following Carlos Gomez’s broken collarbone. The Brewers acquired Felipe Lopez from the Rays on Thursday, who offers similar flexibility for their infield.
The Nationals optioned Roger Bernadina to Triple-A Syracuse yesterday, so barring a trade before tomorrow’s deadline, it appears they are going to roll with Rick Ankiel in center field on a regular basis.
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.