After acquiring Matt Lindstrom from the Astros last month the Rockies have avoided arbitration with the right-hander by signing him to a two-year deal with a team option for 2013.
The contract buys out Lindstrom’s final two seasons of arbitration eligibility while giving the Rockies an option on his first year of free agency. Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that he’ll get $2.8 million in 2011 and $3.6 million in 2012, with a $4 million option or $200,000 buyout for 2013.
Lindstrom has averaged 96.3 miles per hour with his fastball during the past three seasons, which ranks third in baseball, but Brandon Lyon overtook him for the closer job in Houston last year and he has a mediocre 4.00 career ERA with 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings.
He’ll serve as one of Huston Street’s setup men in Colorado.
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.