3:57 p.m. EDT update: Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald is reporting that the Marlins have held on to Nunez, Infante and everyone else.
It looks like the Marlins weren’t kidding: they’re telling suitors that closer Leo Nunez won’t be traded prior to the 4 p.m. EDT deadline, FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reports.
The Marlins are expected to largely take a pass on the deadline as they try to gear up for a run when their new stadium opens next year. Free-agent-to-be Omar Infante could be available, but the Marlins have resisted all inquiries on Nunez, Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez.
With a career 4.25 ERA and a 3.40 mark this year, Nunez is definitely a step down from the elite closers. He also projects as one of the Marlins’ most expensive players next year, as his salary should jump from $3.65 million to at least $6 million in his final year of arbitration. Still, the Marlins have decided to hold on, in part because they don’t feel they have anyone ready to replace him in the closer’s role. Edward Mujica would likely take over for the short-term if the Marlins change their minds.
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.