Not only did Prince Fielder have another monster season for the Brewers, ranking among the MLB leaders in nearly every key offensive category, the 27-year-old first baseman is the only player in baseball to be in the lineup for all 162 games. Matt Kemp also missed zero games, but the Dodgers only played 161.
Along with Kemp four other players (Dan Uggla, Ichiro Suzuki, Joey Votto, Miguel Cabrera) played 161 games this year.
Fielder also played every game in 2009 and missed just one game last season despite coming down with a nasty flu in September. And since becoming an everyday player in 2006 as a 22-year-old rookie Fielder has played 959 of a possible 972 games for the Brewers, which is the most in all of baseball during that six-season span. Kemp, meanwhile, has the longest active streak of consecutive games played.
He may not look like the epitome of health, but when it comes to being in the lineup every day Fielder has been MLB’s iron man.
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.