Ryan Braun was scheduled to appear at the Brewers “fan fest” event this weekend, but owner Mark Attanasio just released a statement announcing that the reigning MVP won’t be there because of concerns about how his attendance could impact the 50-game suspension appeal:
In working through the logistics of this weekend’s Brewers On Deck event in Milwaukee with Ryan Braun–and knowing how much he enjoys interacting candidly with Brewers fans–we came to the conclusion that this is too sensitive of a time in the confidential process for him to attend this year. I speak for everyone at the Brewers, including Ryan, in thanking our fans for their understanding and patience.
Braun attended the Baseball Writers Association of America banquet in New York last week to accept his MVP award and even made a speech, but didn’t directly address his positive test for synthetic testosterone or looming 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.