Colorado claimed Wandy Rodriguez and his contract off waivers yesterday, which should make it awfully weird when he takes the mound at Coors Field this afternoon to face the Rockies. Assuming they don’t work out a trade with the Astros by then, of course.
Rodriguez is scheduled to face Aaron Cook about 20 hours before tomorrow’s noon deadline to complete a deal. If the two sides can’t agree to terms, Rodriguez will be pulled back off waivers and remain in Houston.
When asked about the weird situation Rodriguez called it “hard” and “bad” and generally just seemed uneasy about facing the team he may soon be joining. As for the likelihood of a deal being reached, Steve Campbell of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros aren’t willing to simply let the Rockies take Rodriguez and his contract off their hands “without receiving what the team considers significant talent in return.”
I wrote yesterday that Rodriguez is underrated, because he’s consistently been a top-25 starter and his contract isn’t as huge as some might suggest, but the odds of Houston clearing his salary off the books and getting “significant talent” seems very slim. Of course, as Campbell notes they may decide to wait until the offseason when it’s possible to negotiate with 29 teams instead of one team.
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.