Shi Davidi of Sportsnet says that Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos is saying that Mark DeRosa is retiring.
DeRosa lasted longer than a lot of people thought he might. Sixteen seasons, to be exact, with time spent in Atlanta, Texas, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, Cleveland St. Louis and Toronto. A utility guy for the most part, DeRosa spent the most time at second and third base, but saw stints in the outfield, first base and even 140 games at short.
DeRosa had only four seasons in which he had over 500 plate appearances, but he timed them right, parlaying some good years as a starter into two pretty nice free agent contracts. One from the Cubs after the 2006 season and one from the Giants following the 2009 campaign. As for batting, he finishes his career with a line of .268/.340/.412 with an even 100 homers and 494 RBI.
An Ivy Leaguer, DeRosa has a reputation for being a smart cookie and a good clubhouse guy. He has also dipped his toe into broadcasting, and there’s a very good shot that his retirement was spurred on by a good offer to make that his regular gig. Perhaps with the Cubs.
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.