Joey Votto is doing OK

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Votto.jpgAfter bad news regarding Dontrelle Willis and Khalil Greene, finally some good news from one of the players who have struggled with anxiety disorders and allied maladies recently:

When you ask Joey Votto about his offseason, he gives you a polite “fine, thank you.”

But the Reds first baseman knows you want to know more. His battle
with anxiety and depression that caused him to miss 31 games was a huge
factor in the Reds’ success or lack thereof last season.

Votto
says he had no incidents after last season – his panic attacks led to
hospital visits last year – but he wouldn’t say he’s past all of his
problems.

“A lot of people want miracles,” he said. “Life’s not like that. I’m making progress. I’m going in the right direction.”

My favorite thing in the article: Votto knows his 2009 OPS off the top of his head.

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.