Link-O-Rama: Chapman, Byrnes, Pena, Pujols, Mauer

Leave a comment

* Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman had what agent Edwin Mejia described as “a very good visit” with the Red Sox yesterday at Fenway Park. In addition to the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of the Boston Herald lists the Yankees, Mets, Tigers, Cardinals, and Mariners as having interest in the 21-year-old free agent. Earlier this offseason Boston signed shortstop Jose Iglesias, who was teammates with Chapman in Cuba.
* Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic writes that the Diamondbacks may be ready to part ways with Eric Byrnes two years and $19 million after handing him a misguided contract extension. Byrnes is still owed $11 million in 2010, but has gone from productive fan favorite to oft-injured whipping boy.
* Kansas City is interested in keeping Tony Pena Jr., but only if he’s willing to continue his mid-career switch to pitching. Originally a slick-fielding shortstop who was one of the worst hitters in baseball, Pena posted a 2.33 ERA and 18/6 K/BB ratio in 19 minor-league innings after moving to the mound in July.
* Today the MLB Players Association named Albert Pujols and Joe Mauer as players of the year in their respective leagues. Hopefully the Baseball Writers Association of America will follow suit when the “real” awards are announced next month.

Shawn Tolleson becomes a free agent

Leave a comment

The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.

Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.

Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.

Indians strongly considering starting Carlos Santana in left field sans DH

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the third inning against Marco Estrada #25 of the Toronto Blue Jays during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
1 Comment

Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday,’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.

Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.