Two weeks ago Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew admitted that missing the beginning of the season was a possibility as he recovers from last year’s broken ankle and now Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic takes it one step further.
Piecoro writes that no one has ruled out Drew being ready for the opener, but “the clock’s ticking … looks very unlikely to me.”
Piecoro added that “Drew hasn’t done much in the way of running the bases, hasn’t faced live pitching, hasn’t slid.”
On the other hand, manager Kirk Gibson said that the Diamondbacks plan to “push him pretty good this week” in an effort to see exactly where Drew stands with the season less than a month away. John McDonald and Willie Bloomquist are Arizona’s backup options at shortstop, so the Diamondbacks have the market cornered on scrappiness even if their offense will suffer without Drew.
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.