Struggling Todd Helton fitted for contact lenses

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Todd Helton, who was dropped to the sixth spot in the batting order on Sunday, was fitted with contact lenses on Monday, according to Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post.

The 36-year-old first baseman entered play on Monday with a .250 batting average to go along with just
one home run and 10 RBI. Helton told Armstrong that he had 20/15 vision in the past, but indicated that his vision might be a factor in his recent slump.

“Could be. I wasn’t seeing the ball. It was
either my eyes or my head. I didn’t know if there was anything wrong.
It was just one of those things were I wanted to make sure.”

Helton is currently third among active players (min. 3000 plate appearances)
with a .326 batting average. Only Albert Pujols tops his .426 career on-base percentage.
 

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.