UPDATE: Scott has come to an agreement pending a physical, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The deal is beleived to be one year plus an option.
1:15 PM: Topkin just tweeted that the Rays are “moving closer” to signing Scott.
10:32 AM: Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times said yesterday that the Rays are considering Luke Scott for the DH role. It doesn’t sound like it’s necessarily serious — Seth Smith is also being discussed — but my ears always perk up when Luke Scott is mentioned because there’s always a chance of crazy.
As for the baseball merits, he might be a pretty good value signing. Granted, he only hit .220/.301/.402 in 209 at-bats last season, but his shoulder was obviously bugging him and his season was eventually ended by surgery. The year before he hit .284/.368/.535. Big risks, to be sure, because shoulder problems can just destroy a player, but if he bounces back it could be pretty sweet for whoever signs him as the money will likely be low.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins say minor league pitcher Yorman Landa has died in Venezuela. He was 22.
The club said in a statement that the Twins are “deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss.” The team did not say how he died.
Landa pitched in the 2016 season with the Fort Meyers Miracle, going 2-2 with 7 saves and a 3.24 ERA in 41 2/3 innings pitched. His career minor-league ERA was 2.66.
Landa had been on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but was dropped after the season. The organization signed him to a minor-league contract last week.
Landa was signed by the Twins in 2010 as a 16-year old from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.
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.