Rafael Rojas of the Meridiano newspaper in Venezuela just tweeted that Wilson Ramos has been found safely:
Internal Affairs Minister called Ramos family and told them they got him … VZ Information Minister tweets Ramos has been found safely by authorities at mountains at Carabobo state ..
Rojas says that Ramos’ recovery was announced on the PA System at Winter League games in progress and that the crowds went wild.
This is fantastic way to end what has been an awful week. We’ll obviously pass along the details as they come available. This report from NBC Sports.com will be updated as the evening progresses.
UPDATE: Ramos’ teammate, Scott Drucker, tweets that Ramos is in Caracas now, getting medical attention. He also passes along the ecstatic response of the Venezuelan crowds when the announcement was made.
UPDATE II: More details are beginning to pour in. Rafael Rojas reports that the internal affairs minister just said there are three detainees, so it looks like this was a rescue operation.
UPDATE III: Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that Ramos has told his family that he is “healthy and well,” according to close family friend Marfa Mata.
UPDATE IV: Via Zuckerman, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo has released a statement:
“The news from Venezuela tonight is reassuring. Though details are limited and we have not yet talked directly with Wilson, we are thrilled with reports that he has been rescued and is being safely returned to his family. We greatly appreciate all the prayers and thoughts of all who have joined us in wishing for this conclusion to what has been a nightmarish 48 hours. We are eager to see Wilson and let him know just how many all over the world have been waiting for this news.”
UPDATE V: Via Kathe Vilera on Twitter, here’s a photo of Ramos, who she describes as “healthy and safe.”
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.