As expected, Arthur Rhodes passed through waivers unclaimed after being designated for assignment last week and the Rangers have released the 41-year-old reliever.
Rhodes will likely find a new home because he can still be reasonably effective when spotted against left-handed hitters, but none of the other 29 teams wanted anything to do with the $1.25 million or so he’s still owed for the remainder of the season.
Texas will be on the hook for his entire $3.9 million salary and Rhodes will officially become a free agent Wednesday, meaning he can sign elsewhere for as little as a prorated portion of the minimum salary.
Rhodes showed decreased velocity while posting a 4.81 ERA and 15/8 K/BB ratio in 24 innings, which along with the Rangers adding a pair of late-inning relievers at the trade deadline led to his departure. However, within the overall mediocrity Rhodes held lefties to a .216 batting average and he posted a sub-3.00 ERA in each of the previous three seasons.
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.