UPDATE: Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald is hearing that the Marlins offered Cespedes less than the $40 million sum being reported by Reynoso.
3:15 PM: Marlins’ president David Samson told Jayson Stark of ESPN.com on Tuesday night that the club was considering making an offer to Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes during their meeting in Miami this week and apparently that’s exactly what happened.
Eric Reynoso of Cafe Fuerte (link in Spanish) was told by a source “close to the negotiations” that the Marlins have offered Cespedes a six-year deal worth $40 million. This contract would surpass the $30.25 million deal Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman signed with the Reds in January of 2010.
Cespedes, 26, only met with the Marlins before returning to the Dominican Republic on Thursday night and Reynoso was told that he has no immediate plans to meet with other major league clubs. The Cubs, White Sox, Tigers and Orioles are among some of the other teams who have expressed strong interest. Cespedes is allowed to negotiate with MLB teams, but he can’t officially sign a contract until he is unblocked by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
(Hat-tip to MLB Trade Rumors for the link)
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.