The Giants haven’t officially announced their roster for the NLCS against the Phillies — Bruce Bochy plans to speak with his players later tonight — but some early pieces are starting to fall into place.
According to Andrew Baggarly of San Jose Mercury News, Bochy just announced that Aaron Rowand will be on the roster. Rowand was also on the roster during the NLDS against the Braves and went 1-for-2 with a strikeout.
Meanwhile, Bob Nightengale of USA Today writes that it “looks like” Barry Zito will be left off the Giants’ roster for a second straight round. Madison Bumgarner is currently installed as the team’s fourth starter, so the high-priced left-hander would have only pitched out of the bullpen. It’s not a given, though. Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Zito or Dan Runzler, another left-hander, could still replace Guillermo Mota on the roster against the lefty-heavy Phillies. Stay tuned.
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.