We heard last night that the Red Sox were “making progress” in negotiations to acquire John Farrell from the Blue Jays to be their new manager. Barring something unexpected, it looks like a deal will get done.
According to the Associated Press, the Red Sox have asked permission from the Blue Jays to speak to Farrell directly. This would seem to indicate that talks have progressed to the point where the Red Sox want to negotiate a contract with Farrell.
Farrell has one year left on his contract with the Blue Jays, so the Red Sox will have to give up a player or players as part of a trade. While one rival executive told Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com last night that compensation negotiations resembled “a staring contest,” the Blue Jays are prepared to start over following a disappointing 73-89 record this season.
“There’s no question it gets done in my mind,” said one rival executive. “Toronto doesn’t want him there anymore.”
The Blue Jays surely want to get something of value in order to give up their manager to a division rival, but quotes like this one won’t help their leverage.
The Red Sox have interviewed Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus and Orioles third base DeMarlo Hale for their vacant managerial position, but Farrell is widely considered the top choice to replace Bobby Valentine. Farrell, 50, previously served as pitching coach with Boston from 2006-2010 under Terry Francona.
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.