Earlier this week Derek Jeter laughed off a question about whether he’d like to become a manager someday, saying: “No chance. No chance. Nada. Zero. No, not a chance.”
His Yankees teammate Eric Chavez, however, has been thinking about managing for a while now, telling Dan Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal:
One way or the other, I want to stay in the game. In the last four years I’ve had to learn so much, that I feel there’s a lot I want to pass on. … Before, I was just playing. It was just about me, about me getting ready. But then that last year in Oakland, it changed—it started to feel more about giving back. Talking to guys, helping out. That’s when people started asking me about managing.
Chavez’s career has been plagued by injuries, but at his peak he was one of the best all-around third basemen in baseball and he’s having a resurgence at age 34 by hitting .294 with an .879 OPS in 85 games as a part-time player.
Even with all the injuries derailing his career in his twenties Chavez’s resume as a player beats most managers pretty easily and both Joe Girardi and Nick Swisher told Barbarisi that they think Chavez would make a good skipper.
Of course, with the way he’s playing right now it might be a while.
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.