Tigers minor leaguer Cesar Carrillo, who was named in the Biogenesis documents, has been suspended 100 games for what MLB announced as “his violations of the minor league drug prevention and treatment program.” No other specifics were given, which is unusual for drug-related suspensions.
Carrillo was the Padres’ first-round pick in 2005 out of the University of Miami, where he played with Ryan Braun and Danny Valencia, and the right-hander pitched briefly in the majors in 2009.
For now it’s unclear if his inclusion in those documents is directly related to the 100-game suspension. Just speculation here, but if it is related this could be MLB testing whether they can suspend a player named in the Biogenesis documents without getting significant pushback. And since Carrillo is a minor leaguer not currently on a 40-man roster, he may not be able to put up as much of a fight.
UPDATE: According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com the suspension is “indeed related to name surfacing in Biogenesis documents.”
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.