I stuck up for Aramis Ramirez when Cubs analyst and former teammate Todd Hollandsworth criticized his lack of a leadership role on a radio show Friday. I’m sort of regretting that now.
Asked to respond to Hollandsworth’s comments by the Chicago Sun-Times, Ramirez came up with this:
One thing I got to say is I’ve never seen him in the clubhouse, so I don’t know how he comes up with that. He should ask the young guys before he makes that kind of statement. Talk to Barney, talk to Castro, and see what they say. That’s all I’ve got to say.
Oh, and one [more] thing I’d like to say: I wouldn’t trade my career for his. I think I’ve got a way better career than he did.
Well, duh. But why go there, Aramis? Hollandsworth never put his playing career up against yours. No one has.
But now that you have, here’s a truth: major league teams still wanted Hollandsworth around long after he was through as a productive regular. We’ll see if the same is true of you in a few years.
If you still can’t get enough of this story, Hollandsworth followed up on his Ramirez radio comments on Comcast SportsNet prior to Ramirez’s response last night. CSN Chicago has the video.
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.