Bar

Deep Thoughts: the Quad-A Cafe

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Someone mentioned “quad-A” players earlier. I tend to call them AAAA-guys, but you know who I mean. Players who are too good for Triple-A but can’t seem to cut it in the bigs. Mat Gamel was the one mentioned in the comment, but there are a bunch of them floating around.

Extremely bored, I started daydreaming and imagined the Quad-A guys all meeting for a convention. An annual get-together or something where they talk about the challenges of having no place. Maybe it’s more of a support group thing, during which these guys deal with the unique problem of sometimes being so much better than those around them, sometimes being worse, and never having peace and comfort because of it.

But then I just thought, nah, they need a bar. The Quad-A Cafe, maybe.  I mused to Twitter what it might be like.  I then got a bunch of great responses:

@suss2hyphens: It would have a low ceiling and go on for years.

@SouthSideSox: The menu consists of a few cups of coffee.

@SSS_UGod:  And some pop, but not as much as you’d like.

@guyd10: Clearly would have a coffee maker, but the coffee would only be available in September…

@DangerousMabry: It would boast a list of 135 whiskys. But they’d all be Canadian.

@stevesimas: They’d have a “B” grade from the Dept. of Health in the window.

@EvansiPhone4s: servers would always be missing 1 tool

@SteveGlauber: TVs always set to ESPN2

@RDansky: The BPro guys would constantly be clamoring for it to get a shot at a better location.

@EnnHaitch: Might just be really inconsistent.

@matthiasbostick: after a bad zagat review, people on the internet would argue about whether it had been given a fair chance

Pull up a chair and let the bartender of the Quad-A Cafe, Roberto Petagine, pour you an OK, but not spectacular drink.  Then, if you’re hungry, allow our cook, Ken Phelps, to make you a totally adequate burger that does not quite meet your expectations.  But make sure you behave yourself or else our bouncer, Jeff Clement, will throw you out.

Wait, who am I kidding? If Jeff Clement could throw anyone out he wouldn’t be at the Quad-A in the first place.

Orioles are eying Welington Castillo as their primary catcher target

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 25: Welington Castillo #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks warms up prior to taking an at bat against the Baltimore Orioles in the second inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 25, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
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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.

Report: Phillies agree to minor league deal with Daniel Nava

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 12:  Daniel Nava #12 of the Kansas City Royals bats during the game against the Oakland Athletics at Kauffman Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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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.