Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso has been out since Monday with a sore right wrist and Bernie Wilson of the Associated Press reports that he’ll be placed on the disabled list.
According to Wilson the Padres will call up Triple-A corner outfielder/first baseman Jake Goebbert to replace Alonso, who’s hit just .210 with five homers and a .591 OPS in 69 games this season. Alonso’s bat has simply never developed like the Padres hoped when they acquired him from the Reds for Mat Latos in December of 2011.
He’s now a 27-year-old career .266 hitter with a .714, and while that’s a lot better than it looks once you account for pitcher-friendly Petco Park his average of nine home runs per 150 games just doesn’t cut it at first base.
Goebbert, meanwhile, is a 26-year-old career minor leaguer with a modest .437 slugging percentage in 131 total games at Triple-A, although that includes much better numbers there this season. San Diego acquired him from Oakland last month in exchange for Kyle Blanks. He’s hardly a high-upside prospect, but it’ll be interesting to see whether the Padres stick with Goebbert for a while if he hits right away.
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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.