NatsTown is suddenly a very hot ticket with the news of Stephen Strasburg’s imminent promotion. And according to what Roy Oswalt told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post on Tuesday, he wouldn’t mind hitching his wagon (or tractor) to the surprising ballclub.
“They’ve been playing well,” Oswalt said. “They’ve got a good offensive
club. I saw where they have Strasburg coming up. He should make an
immediate impact, especially, because no one’s seen him in the league,
early. There’s always a little adjustment period there.”
Oswalt went on to call the National League East “wide open” and that he would be willing to play “anywhere” where he can contend. Entering play on Tuesday, the Nationals are 26-26 and just 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Braves.
Oswalt, 32, is 3-7 with a 2.78 ERA and 1.08 WHIP over 11 starts with the Astros this season. He is owed $15 million this season, $16 million in 2011 and either $16 million or a $2 million buyout in 2012.
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.