Last week general manager John Mozeliak assessed Troy Glaus’ chances of playing this season
at “probably less than 50-50,” leading to speculation that the
Cardinals could be in the market for a veteran replacement at third
However, yesterday Mozeliak called the latest news
on Glaus’ recovery from offseason shoulder surgery “encouraging.” Glaus
has been cleared to begin throwing and swinging a bat next week,
although Mozeliak noted that “the timetable is still quite unknown” and
“it’s probably going to be somewhere between the All-Star game and
August 1 if he were to return.”
Mozeliak made it clear that the Cardinals are still in the market for a fill-in third baseman and the name being tossed around most often is Mark DeRosa of the Indians.
He’d be an upgrade over the Joe Thurston-Brian Barden combo that’s
hit just .247/.332/.376, plus he’s an impending free agent who’d likely
be relatively inexpensive to acquire and has enough defensive
versatility to fall back into a utility role should Glaus return.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.