When the Rangers acquired Koji Uehara from the Orioles at the trade deadline, they were hoping he would be a stabilizing force for the backend of their bullpen. However, he’s been anything but during the postseason, allowing five runs on five hits (including three home runs) in just 1 1/3 innings over three appearances.
Other members of the Rangers’ bullpen have pitched well during his struggles, so Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com notes that Uehara could be left off the World Series roster if right-hander Mark Lowe is deemed healthy.
Lowe hasn’t pitched since September 20 due to a left hamstring strain, but posted a 3.80 ERA and 42/19 K/BB ratio over 45 innings during the regular season. The 28-year-old right-hander threw a bullpen session earlier today, after which Rangers manager Ron Washington told Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the team is looking over its options.
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.