UPDATE: Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN in Minneapolis reports that Justin Morneau has been placed on the disabled list. Twins general manager Bill Smith classified it as “a short-term thing,” but Morneau’s left wrist will be immobilized for the next 10 days.
The Twins will not announce a corresponding roster move until tomorrow, but early speculation is that Tsuyoshi Nishioka could replace him on the active roster.
6:40 PM: Justin Morneau’s wrist hasn’t responded to a cortisone shot as hoped, and he’s likely to wind up on the disabled list, the Star Tribune’s Jim Souhan reported after talking to him in the clubhouse Tuesday.
Morneau took about 20 swings in the cage today, but obviously, he continued to battle some soreness. He also saw a hand specialist today, though the outcome of the examination isn’t yet known.
The only bit of good news for the Twins here is that Joe Mauer is due back this week to help replace Morneau in the lineup. Still, they really need both healthy and hitting if they’re going to climb back into contention in the AL Central.
With Morneau out, Michael Cuddyer figures to serve as the full-time first baseman. The Twins will remain short-handed in the outfield with both Jason Kubel (foot) and Denard Span (concussion) sidelined.
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.