Matt Holliday had his strained finger tendon examined further by hand specialists in St. Louis yesterday and general manager John Mozeliak said afterward that there’s “no change” in his status.
That means Holliday remains on the Cardinals’ roster, but is doubtful to start any of the remaining three games against the Phillies and may not even be able to pinch-hit like he did in Game 1.
What’s probably keeping the Cardinals from removing him from the roster and adding a replacement is that doing so now would also make Holliday ineligible for the NLCS if they get that far.
So for now they’ll continue to play with a 24- or perhaps 24.5-man roster and Allen Craig will continue to capably fill in for Holliday, who hit .296 with 22 homers and a .912 OPS in 124 games during the regular 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.