So many interesting details in this story about A-Rod from New York Magazine. Among them:
- A source close to him says A-Rod has “put baseball out of his mind. He’s very much unplugged from the Yankees.”
- He’s far more interested in his business ventures and is spending his time in his office and looking to expand his investment portfolio
- His ex-wife Cynthia, however, says that he’s still committed to baseball has dropped ten pounds and that “he works out twice a day and he looks lean and fit”
- Cynthia also says that Rodriguez seems “balanced and focused” to her and that he’s “really present in the girls’ lives, showing up at school events,” she said.
That all sounds rather good for him, I suppose. Getting his life balance back, being a good dad and keeping himself open to the possibilities of both being done with baseball and returning, depending on what happens in the spring. One could even spin a Best Shape of His Life angle out of those comments from his ex-wife.
Of course, if I worked for the Post or the Daily News I’d spin it as A-Rod still being all about the money, indecisive and using his ex-wife, his kids and his workout regime as a prop to cynically manipulate everyone. I mean, you gotta sell newspapers.
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.