The Tigers finish up their series in Chicago on Wednesday night and play at home against the Royals on Friday night. For Torii Hunter, there will be some extra travel in between. He’s going to Jonesboro, Arkansas that night to see his son Monshadrik — nicknamed “Money” — play football for Arkansas State. From the Freep:
“I haven’t seen any of my sons play since they’ve been out of high school,” Hunter said. “If you’ve got that opportunity, you gotta do it. I’m going to check it out and have my jersey on and hat on, then come back ready to play on Friday. It’ll be good. I haven’t seen my boys in months.”
Hunter has three sons playing college football.
I’m torn here, of course. On the one hand I am all for dads doing whatever they can to be close to their families and don’t begrudge Hunter’s little trek one bit because family is way, way more important than sports. On the other hand, I can’t help but feel like if other players did this — players without the friends in the media Hunter has — they’d be getting criticism for all of the traveling on an off-day and would have to answer questions about it all.
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.