After unloading a bunch of talent and alienating their fanbase, the Marlins finished with the second-worst record in baseball this season at 62-100. We’ve seen a front office shakeup since the end of the year, with Michael Hill replacing Larry Beinfest as president of baseball operations and Dan Jennings taking over as general manager, but team president David Samson told Christina De Nicola of FOX Sports Florida today that he sees brighter days ahead. In fact, he promises it.
“We want to get out there and get going,” Samson said. “We’re getting ready for another season, and we’re going to win more. I promise you this: We’re not going to lose 100 games next year. Not close.”
You hear that? Not going to lose 100 games. Don’t call for season tickets all at once out there.
It’s hard to take any “promise” seriously with Jeffrey Loria meddling behind the scenes, but there’s no denying that Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez, and Christian Yelich give the Marlins an exciting young core. However, they don’t appear willing to spend on the extra parts to be competitive in the short-term and it’s hard to blame fans who believe that their young players will be headed elsewhere once they get expensive. Stanton will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, so he might be the first to go if the Marlins get an offer to their liking.
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.