Jose Mijares is finally in Royals camp following a week-long delay due to passport issues in Venezuela.
“I waited for my passport and the embassy didn’t send it to me for 10 days,” Mijares told Dick Kaegel of MLB.com, who notes that the left-handed reliever won’t be too far behind other pitchers because he threw often during the offseason. And also because his job usually involves facing one or two batters per game.
This could be a make-or-break year for Mijares, who was so bad for the Twins last season that they surprisingly non-tendered him instead of paying him around $750,000 via arbitration. And then he got a raise anyway, signing a one-year, $925,000 deal with the Royals.
Mijares is 27 years old with a 3.16 career ERA in 154 innings, so if healthy he could be a big part of Kansas City’s bullpen.
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.