Another day passed without an agreement between the Orioles and catcher Welington Castillo.
The Orioles remain the favorites to sign Castillo, who originally sought a three-year deal. They’re fine with giving him two if that’s what it takes to get him to Baltimore.
Castillo tied for the most passed balls in the National League with 10, according to Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.com, and also was behind the plate for 42 wild pitches, the same total as Matt Wieters. He threw out 38 percent of runners trying to steal, compared to 35 for Wieters.
Wieters has thrown out 33 percent of runners attempting to steal over eight seasons. Castillo has thrown out 31 percent in seven seasons.
Castillo’s seven errors were four fewer than Wieters’ total that led the majors.
The stat that leaps off the page for me is Wieters’ one passed ball this summer. It’s deceiving when you consider balls in the dirt that he knows could have been knocked down and kept in front of him. His critics will point it out if they’re not obsessing over pitch framing.
* I’m not hearing as many Chris Carter rumors attached to the Orioles now that we’ve left the Winter Meetings.
The Orioles are focused on re-signing Mark Trumbo and are believed to have the best offer on the table. They also seem prepared to give Trey Mancini a shot at designated hitter if Trumbo isn’t retained. Carter just doesn’t fit in this scenario.
Manager Buck Showalter told reporters at the Winter Meetings that he never heard Carter’s name mentioned in “the room.”
* The Rockies could be inclined to move an outfielder, especially if they sign Trumbo for first base. Ian Desmond needs a spot to play.
There are lots of Orioles fans who want the club to make a run at Carlos Gonzalez or Charlie Blackmon. The Orioles keep getting tripped up because the Rockies always ask for Kevin Gausman. Doesn’t matter which player is on the table. They always come back to Gausman.
In a related story, the Orioles aren’t trading Kevin Gausman.
* The Orioles met with Michael Bourn’s agent at the Winter Meetings. Bourn is still in play because executive vice president Dan Duquette would like to add two outfielders if possible.
Bourn batted .283/.358/.435 with two home runs in 24 games with the Orioles. I remember the ball he failed to catch near the line in the wild card game, but I also remember the one he ran down. He’s an asset with his glove and speed.
Joey Rickard is expected to be full-go for the start of spring training, though the Orioles would like to check on him at minicamp. Maybe he makes the club and Bourn isn’t needed, as long as Duquette finds an outfielder who bats from the left side. Rickard could platoon with Hyun Soo Kim in left field or serve as a fourth or fifth outfielder, more than capable of being a defensive replacement and pinch-runner. But the Orioles maintain interest in Bourn.
Ben Revere still makes sense to me after the Nationals non-tendered him. Throw out his 2016 season, which included an oblique injury. He batted a combined .306/.342/.377 with the Phillies and Blue Jays in 2015 and he’s only 28.
* The Orioles are open to the possibility of re-signing Pedro Álvarez, but it seems unlikely if they bring back Trumbo, who would get most of his at-bats as the designated hitter.
Captain Obvious reports that Álvarez isn’t going to platoon with Trumbo.
Agent Scott Boras told reporters at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center that Álvarez is trying to expand his defensive resume.
“I’ve talked to a number of teams about him,” Boras said. “Pedro is actually going to start playing the outfield, as well. He’s obviously working at first base and we’re going to try and get his defensive acumen more in the field as his career goes forward.
“Obviously, anybody that needs left-handed power is going to be interested in Pedro.”
* This may seem obvious, but I’ll pass along that the Orioles haven’t had contract extension talks with Kim. Duquette was asked about it last week.
Kim led the club in average (.302) and on-base percentage (.382), but he was platooned in left field. He appeared in only 95 games and the Orioles are still figuring out exactly what they’ve got, including whether he can hit left-handers.
* Former Orioles executive Jim Duquette joined the panel yesterday for “Wall to Wall Baseball” on MASN. I asked him to come up with a package from the Orioles comparable to the one that the Nationals sent to the White Sox for outfielder Adam Eaton.
Duquette named Dylan Bundy, Chance Sisco and a healthy Hunter Harvey, the latter impossible, of course, since the former first-round pick is recovering from ligament-reconstructive surgery on his right elbow.
* Duquette, now part of the MLB Network Radio team, also said the Pirates contacted the Orioles about five-time All-Star Andrew McCutchen during the Winter Meetings, but their demands were exorbitant. There was no chance of a deal getting done.
McCutchen wasn’t traded despite the club’s attempts, which had to be awkward yesterday at PirateFest. Even worse than ripping a guy in arbitration.