Carlos Beltran quietly having a very productive September

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Carlos Beltran missed the entire first half of the season and then struggled after finally returning from knee surgery in mid-July, hitting just .218 with a .660 OPS through 43 games. That will keep his overall season totals looking ugly no matter how well Beltran plays in September, but he’s quietly having a very solid month.
Beltran went 3-for-5 with a homer and a triple last night, and is now hitting .308/.343/.554 with three homers and eight total extra-base hits in 17 games this month. Those numbers are pretty similar to what Beltran did in his first five seasons with the Mets, when he batted .281/.368/.505 in 677 total games.
Obviously one good 17-game stretch doesn’t mean much, but it makes sense that Beltran would show improvement the further removed he is from surgery and the more at-bats he gets against big-league pitching. And finishing on a high note could be very important if the Mets have any hopes of trading him this offseason. He’s owed $18.5 million in 2011.

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.