Carlos Gonzalez will join teammate Troy Tulowitzki on the sidelines for the remainder of the year, as the Rockies announced that the outfielder will undergo season-ending left knee surgery Monday.
Cody Ulm of MLB.com reports that the recovery timetable for Gonzalez is expected to be 5-6 months, which would only leave him about a month or so of leeway before the beginning of spring training.
Gonzalez has had knee problems dating back to last season and the 28-year-old has played just 70 games this year while hitting a career-worst .238 with a .723 OPS after topping an .875 OPS every season from 2009-2013.
“It was hard for me to sit back and have a leg kick,” Gonzalez told Ulm. “It was even harder to hold all my weight on my back knee.”
Gonzalez played 145 games in 2010 while winning the batting title and finishing third in the MVP balloting, but since then he’ll have played 442 of a possible 648 games for the Rockies while missing at least 27 games each year.
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.