Scott Rolen has been out since mid-July following shoulder surgery and manager Dusty Baker told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he doesn’t expect the veteran third baseman to play again this season.
Rolen was initially given a 4-6 week recovery timetable and as recently as August 29 expressed optimism about being close to a return, but he also has a long history of shoulder problems and with the Reds out of contention there’s little reason to push him for some relatively meaningless late-season appearances.
Rolen, who hit just .242 with a .676 OPS in 65 games before being shut down, is under contract next season for $6.5 million at age 37. He’s hopeful that the surgery will eventually give him increased shoulder strength, but at this point Rolen will enter 2012 as a big question mark.
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.