CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman doesn’t hold back in his latest column, calling Roger Clemens a liar and a cheat and suggesting that new Astros owner Jim Crane is “in Clemens’ back pocket already.”
Heyman believes that Clemens will pitch for the Astros next month, and he isn’t particularly happy about it, claiming such a move would cost the team its dignity. As for Clemens himself…
In my own personal opinion, Clemens is a steroid and HGH cheat and got off on a perjury charge because he had better lawyers than the government, the jury didn’t like his accuser, or they didn’t want to send him to jail for lying at a hearing they may feel should have never occurred in the first place (or maybe someone combination of all three). But that doesn’t make him innocent. Everyone who’s followed this at all thinks George Mitchell got it right, and Clemens juiced with the worst of ‘em.
Seems spot on to me. Heyman added that he will vote for Clemens for the Hall of Fame because he believes Clemens was a HOFer before he started cheating.
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.