Kansas City has added a pair of bench players by acquiring catcher Humberto Quintero and outfielder Jason Bourgeois from the Astros for minor leaguer Kevin Chapman and a player to be named later.
Quintero became expendable in Houston with Jason Castro back from injury and veteran Chris Snyder signed this offseason, but his ineptitude offensively makes him little more than a mediocre backup. He’ll split time behind the plate with Brayan Pena until Salvador Perez returns from knee surgery around midseason.
Bourgeois brings speed and defense to a fourth outfielder role, but he’s 30 years old and has hit just .262 with two homers and a .631 OPS in 192 games as a big leaguer. His minor-league production isn’t a whole lot better, so presumably he’ll back up Lorenzo Cain rather than steal his playing time.
Chapman was the Royals’ fourth-round pick in 2010 and has racked up impressive strikeout numbers in the low minors, so he’s a pretty solid haul for a pair of bench guys regardless of who the PTBNL turns out to be.
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.