Yankees to push back Chamberlain's next start

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As part of the grand plan to keep Joba Chamberlain’s arm from falling off, the Yankees are pushing his next start back by a day or two, instead inserting Chad Gaudin into the rotation for a start this weekend against the Mariners.  The Daily News’ Tim Smith thinks this is silly:

Leave him alone and let him pitch his regular turn, and stop talking about this top-secret plan that was devised, developed and instituted by GM Brian Cashman and Girardi. Enough already.

I’m all for being careful with young arms — and though he seems like he’s been around a long time, Joba is still young — but one wonders whether this treatment isn’t having some unanticipated side effects.  Pitchers are creatures of habit, and based on his quotes in the articles, Chamberlain is always the last to know when he’s pitching.  Jorge Posada, who knows a thing or two about pitchers by now, says “It’s tough with what he’s been going through. He doesn’t know when he’s going to pitch, so it’s tough to mentally put it all together. He’s doing everything he can to stay focused, but it’s tough.”

And though I’m venturing a bit out of my bailiwick with this, I wonder if it’s possible that extra rest does Joba some harm, albeit small harm. Perhaps he feels almost too strong when he pitches on extra rest and thus (a) overthrows; and/or (b) doesn’t feel as pressing a need to be efficient and conserve energy?

Worth thinking about. And, hey, given the lead the Yankees have right now, there’s room to experiment a bit.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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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.