Negotiations between the Baltimore Orioles and catcher Matt Wieters seem to have stalled. In fact, Wieters hasn’t gotten much love at all this offseason as he remains a free agent. Even Wilson Ramos, who will miss half of 2017, got a deal with the Tampa Bay Rays already. Wieters may lose one option soon as the Orioles are now targeting Welington Castillo.
Among the non-tendered players this winter, Castillo was one of the more intriguing pieces that changed the free agent market. His presence directly hurt Wieters as he is coming off a rather productive season with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Castillo won’t play in an All-Star Game or receive any MVP consideration. However, as a guy who averages 19 home runs per 162 games over his career and established himself as a productive offensive backstop over the last three seasons, I do not think the Orioles are crazy to favor him over Wieters.
Welington Castillo looks like the favorite to replace Matt Wieters as the Baltimore Orioles catcher next season.
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During Castillo’s brief time with the Diamondbacks he smacked 31 home runs in 193 games while also driving in 118. This was over the span of two seasons. Not amazing numbers, he did slash .261/.320/.462. Considering he’s a catcher, Castillo deserves a thumb up.
For the Orioles, along with the production, they’ll easily get Castillo for a fraction of what Wieters would demand. Castillo will likely be forced into settling for a one or two year deal tops while Wieters’ aim is likely at three years or more. Unfortunately, he’ll have a tough time finding it with how few teams are seeking a new catcher. If the Orioles do move on from him officially, he’s a little S.O.L.
If I had to guess, Castillo ends up with the Orioles. They need that change of pace and Wieters is clearly on the decline while Castillo is having some of his best seasons in recent years. Rather than define insanity, now is the opportunity for the Orioles to try something new.
I was going to write about the San Diego Padres' desire to trade for Jose Iglesias of the Detroit Tigers. Then I thought of a more blockbuster move they could make. Because each offseason seems to include the Padres searching for a shortstop I think they should snag the best one in the minor leagues possible. For me it's Brendan Rodgers of the Colorado Rockies' organization. A top 10’er per MLB.com, he’s someone many teams should ask about.
Wouldn't you also know, the Rockies could use someone on the Padres. Wil Myers is an outfielder turned first baseman whose bat would look great in the Colorado altitude. Myers would fill the void at first base for the Rockies and the Padres get their shortstop of the future. It's a win-win for these National League West rivals.
The main reason for this trade to occur is for the Rockies to move Rodgers as he is blocked by Trevor Story at shortstop and DJ LeMahieu at second base. The Rockies also added Ian Desmond this offseason which has me believing they're ready to swap multiple players: including a top ten prospect.
What do you think of a Wil Myers for Brendan Rodgers trade?
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As far as trading Myers goes, it's not a particularly great move by San Diego. However, I feel it's much easier to replace him than to find a top shortstop. Myers' injury history devalues him too. While he is not made of glass, Myers missed about half the season in 2014 and 2015 due to separate injuries. Last year, in 157 games played, he broke out and pretty much doubled his career totals in the three years combined prior with 28 home runs, 94 RBIs, and 28 stolen bases.
Of course, this trade is probably not possible straight up one-for-one. More importantly, it has no real shot at taking place even if it helps the Rockies and their desire to compete immediately while allowing the Padres to sit back for another year or two until Rodgers becomes a beast in the MLB.
The Los Angeles Angels will get themselves a new second baseman this offseason whether it's a prized possession like Brian Dozier or a sonic boom coming off one surprisingly productive year like Ryan Schimpf. One guy they're rumored to have interest in right now is St. Louis Cardinals' second baseman Kolten Wong. Now an afterthought in Baseball Heaven, Wong is someone the Cardinals should move on from. The Angels, meanwhile, must set expectations higher.
Why trade for Wong when there are proven guys out there? Or, from a different perspective, younger players with more promise? There is no huge list of second basemen available, but there are plenty better suited for the Angels than Wong.
A veteran like Chase Utley is a good choice if they want to regroup and make another attempt next season or at the trade deadline for someone new. Utley will surely take a one year deal. I don't particularly like Brandon Phillips anymore, but he does seem like a stronger choice than Wong because he has at least gained plenty of experienced in the MLB and could mold into the Angels’ lineup well.
Kolten Wong is one second base option the Los Angeles Angels should stay away from.
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So far in three MLB seasons Wong has slashed only .248/.309/.370 with some okay power and good speed. His career 85 OPS+ is a bit alarming particularly because he has never reached 100 in any of the three years he has played as a regular. Wong is even a slightly below average fielder in some regards so without the bat to back him up, I can’t see why the Angels would have any interest.
At 26-years-old, Wong is a player that I do think needs a change of scenery. However, the bright lights of Los Angeles (or Anaheim if you want to be really specific) may not help. Instead, Wong is a better candidate to head to a bad team rather than one who needs him to step up and hit immediately.