This is interesting.
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post received an e-mail from a Phillies fan Thursday who was sitting in the Citizens Bank Park center field stands last week when Nationals outfielder Nyjer Morgan supposedly hit a man in the head with a thrown ball.
Morgan was suspended seven games by Major League Baseball on Wednesday for that incident. He has since appealed, and it sounds like he might have a case.
Kilgore was told by the e-mailer that Morgan was only being playful with the Phillies faithful in center field that night and that the thrown ball that hit a fan had a harmless “rainbow-style” arc. The only reason it struck the man was because he was looking the other way.
Morgan, according to the e-mailer, intended for the ball to land in the hands of a 12-year-old boy who was sitting nearby. Perhaps this entire situation and the subsequent punishment deserves another look by the MLB commissioner’s office.
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.