Everybody’s in a hurry to put Jose Reyes in Marlin-teal. Er, orange. Or whatever color it is. Pick one. You’ll probably be right. Anyway, it’s funny how so many people — including people who aren’t normally involved in mainstream of the rumor-mongering game — seem to have some inside dirt on Reyes’ plans.
Last week Jorge Sedano of 790 AM The Ticket in Miami said Reyes to the Marlins was a “done deal.” Yesterday Dino Costa of SiriusXM reported that Reyes had accepted an offer. Those reports were each followed up by guys who cover the Marlins — in the latter case Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post — saying that, no, nothing was happening.
These kinds of rumors a weird. Despite what a lot of people like to say about the rumor racket, it’s very rare that people just make stuff up. I mean, it’s bad enough to be wrong about something you honestly thought you had some decent information about. No one in their right mind would want to just invent things.
But more to the point, there’s little reward in being right about random rumors anyway. Guys like Heyman, Rosenthal and Olney have built careers on this stuff, but if you’re not dealing in their kind of volume, no one is going to give you anything for happening to have been first about the Shlabotnik signing that one year.
I’m guessing that even if Reyes hasn’t agreed to anything with Miami — and it would make sense for him to listen to other offers before doing so — there is sufficient heat there that all kinds of folks with various levels of connection to the team or to Reyes are talking about it. And even if that’s not news the way an actual signing is news, it’s still pretty interesting.
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.