Saito garners interest from eight teams

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Thumbnail image for takashi saito.jpgEight teams, including the White Sox, Cubs, Braves and Mets, have interest in free agent Takashi Saito, according to a Sponichi report passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker.

Saito, who turns 40 in February,
posted a 2.42 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 52/25 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings
with the Red Sox in 2009. He signed an incentive-laden contract last
January coming back from a torn elbow ligament (without undergoing
surgery), but the Red Sox declined his $6 million option by releasing
him last month.

While he’s still a fine reliever,
capable of eighth or ninth-inning duties, Saito’s peripherals have been
headed in the wrong direction since his debut in 2006:

2006: 12.9 K/9, 2.64 BB/9, 0.34 HR/9

2007: 10.91 K/9, 1.82 BB/9, 0.70 HR/9

2008: 11.49 K/9, 3.06 BB/9, 0.19 HR/9

2009: 8.41 K/9, 4.04 BB/9, 0.97 HR/9

There’s no shortage of younger late-inning
relievers available this winter, so while the early interest is strong, the veteran right-hander is wading
into some uncertain waters.

Shawn Tolleson becomes a free agent

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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)
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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.