In his first game since being sent down by the Rangers, catcher Taylor Teagarden went deep three times and drove in seven runs for the Round Rock Express on Sunday.
The huge game gave him five homers in just 22 at-bats in the PCL this season.
Teagarden showed no rust at all despite a lack of action these last three weeks. He played in just two games, collecting four at-bats, in his 16 days with the Rangers.
Teagarden has flashed plenty of power in the majors, too, having delivered 16 homers and 19 doubles in 320 at-bats with the Rangers over the last four seasons. Unfortunately, all of that power came with 130 strikeouts. Since a nice 47-at-bat debut in 2008, he’s hit just .198 with 10 homers and a 111/23 K/BB ratio the last three seasons.
And that’s why the 27-year-old is back in the minors now. While Teagarden is considered average or above average defensively, teams seem to think his issues making contact will prevent him from becoming a quality regular. The Rangers buried him by bringing in Yorvit Torrealba and Mike Napoli over the winter, and no team has stepped up with a significant enough offer to pry him away.
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.