I had no idea that former Mets outfielder Timo Perez was still playing baseball, but apparently he is — or at least was — because he was just suspended for violating baseball’s drug program, presumably for PEDs. He and three other minor leaguers — Oakland outfielder Mitchell LeVier and minor league free agents Oscar Rodriguez and Kelvin Santana — were handed 50-game suspensions yesterday.
Perez was a semi-regular Mets outfielder for a handful of years in the early 2000s, but he was best known for his base running exploits n Game 1 of the 2000 World Series. He was on first base when Todd Zeile hit a long fly ball that Perez thought was a homer, which caused him to slow down into a trot. The ball hit off the outfield wall, however, and his lollygagging caused him to be thrown out at home. The Yankees ended up winning that game by one run in 12 innings so, yeah, it kind of stung.
Perez is 36 now. He hasn’t played in the bigs since 2007. He hit .304 with Toledo this year and became a free agent at the end of the season. Probably academic now, though, as my guess is that his career is over with this suspension.
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.