The Nationals are expected to call up infielder Steve Lombardozzi soon. A lot of people are high on him, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him spell Danny Espinosa and/or Ian Desmond as the Nats play out the string.
As The Washington Times’* Amanda Comak reports, however, Espinosa is not prepared to play the “anything to help the team” card at the moment:
Espinosa’s words were strong, admitting that he had no inclination to “give up my spot just to help someone,” and that “Desmond and I have busted (it) all year and I think we need the opportunity to finish our years. We’ve worked too hard and we’ve played every single game. We’re two young ballplayers. It’s not like we’re two older guys that are on the way out or something.”
I can’t imagine a player like Espinosa wants to lose any playing time, but that’s not exactly the stock response one gets in such situations.
*Apologies. I initially said that Ms. Comak works for the Washington Post. She, in fact, works for the Washington Times. A thousand pardons.
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.