First baseman/outfielder Mike Carp has asked the Red Sox for a trade and apparently left-hander Felix Doubront wouldn’t mind leaving Boston either.
Doubront has been pitching out of the bullpen for about six weeks and after the Red Sox decided not to shift him back to the rotation following the Jake Peavy trade he went public with wanting to either become a starter again or be traded to a team willing to put him into their rotation.
Here’s what Doubront told Jason Mastrodonato of MassLive.com:
I just want to be a starter and stay there. If I stay, they have to know I have to be a starter. If I go, the other team is going to give me this chance to be a starter. … The thing is, if they say I have to prove myself, I already did man. It’s [messed] up. So if these guys say I have to pitch to prove whatever, no, they already know what I have. I showed them what I have, as a reliever and as a starter. For me, they don’t see the numbers, they don’t care what I’ve done in the past. It’s hard to be happy like that with these guys.
Here’s the thing, though: Those numbers Doubront refers to as “proving” himself aren’t any good. Doubront has a 4.47 ERA in 69 career starts, which is fourth or fifth starter territory and not particularly valuable, although so far at least he’s been even worse in the bullpen.
Meanwhile, manager John Farrell says:
There’s a clear role for him in the bullpen and sometimes performance guides where you’re slotted.
In other words, the Red Sox no longer think he’s good enough to be in the rotation, which is interesting because Doubront was a full-time starter in 2012 and 2013.
He’s still just 26 years old and under team control through 2017, so presumably at least a few teams would be interested in taking Doubront off the Red Sox’s hands and giving him the starting role he wants.
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.