Former first-round pick Mark Rogers was suspended for 25 games Friday after a second positive test for a banned stimulant.
The good news for Rogers is that the suspension kicks in immediately. The injury-plagued right-hander is on the shelf because of carpal tunnel syndrome in his throwing wrist, and he was already expected to undergo season-ending surgery, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports.
Rogers, 25, was the fifth overall selection in the 2004 draft. He missed entire seasons in 2007 and ’08, but after a breakthrough 2010 that culminated in a couple of starts for the Brewers last September, he was expected to compete for a rotation spot this spring. Instead, he’s missed much of the year with a sore shoulder and now the wrist injury. He was 0-5 with a 9.34 ERA in 44 1/3 innings for three minor league teams this season.
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.