Rehabbing catcher Gregg Zaun wants to play at age 40

2 Comments

With his rehab from surgery to repair a torn labrum progressing well, Gregg Zaun intends to return for his age-40 season next year.
Zaun signed a $1.9 million deal over the winter to replace Jason Kendall as the Brewers’ primary catcher. He opened the season by hitting .265/.350/.392 in 28 games, but he landed on the DL in late May with a sore shoulder and underwent surgery soon thereafter. At the time, he weighed retirement.
“I had my doubts when the injury occurred,” Zaun told FOXSports.com. “Based on conversations with friends who’d had the same procedure, I was skeptical. Now, I am thinking that my arm might be better than ever. It should be structurally sound for the first time in a decade.”
If that’s the case, Zaun shouldn’t have much trouble finding work. The Brewers probably won’t exercise their $2.25 million option on his services for 2011, but they could well be interested in having him back as a part-timer.
Should Zaun come back and play a major role next season, he’d join a very exclusive club. Only three players have caught at least 80 games in a season after turning 40: Carlton Fisk (three times, ages 41-43), Bob Boone (twice, ages 40-41) and Deacon McGuire (age 40).

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

Getty Images
6 Comments

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.