Melky Cabrera’s impending free agency should be rather interesting. The 28-year-old outfielder posted a spectacular .346/.390/.516 slash line with 11 homers and 60 RBI in 113 games this season for the Giants, but that was before he got busted for PED use and then tried to dupe MLB authorities by funding the construction of a fake supplement website.
The general consensus is that Cabrera will have to settle for a one-year “prove it” deal to reestablish his value in the league. Now it’s a matter of finding out which teams will be open to giving him a shot.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post spoke with several major league executives who guessed that the Mets and Phillies will be in the running this winter. There’s also a belief that the Giants might try to re-sign Cabrera because Angel Pagan is set to hit the open market and could command something hefty.
The Yankees can probably be ruled out because Melky won’t want to be a part-time player.
Cabrera, a native of the Dominican Republic, owns a .284/.338/.414 career batting line.
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.