It doesn’t matter much now, but CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that Ozzie Guillen inquired about the Orioles’ third base coach job before the team settled on Bobby Dickerson as a replacement for DeMarlo Hale.
Talks apparently didn’t get very far, as Guillen’s son, Ozzie Guillen, Jr., suggested that his father may have had “a brief third-party discussion” regarding the opening. He also said that his father might get back into managing “in the future” and suggested that he could consider such a job “in Asia.” Now that’s something I’d like to see. As for this season, it appears that Guillen might do some TV work while he weighs his options.
There was much fanfare when the Marlins brought Guillen aboard as manager last season, but he was cut loose after the club flopped and finished in last place with a disappointing 69-93 record. The arrangement was almost doomed from the start, as Guillen angered many in Miami’s Cuban community by making some controversial comments about Fidel Castro.
As of now, the Marlins still owe Guillen $2.5 million over each of the next three seasons. By the way, only two Marlins’ players (Ricky Nolasco and Placido Polanco) have a higher base salary than Guillen this year.
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.