Chris Carpenter left Cardinals camp earlier this week with what was described as a neck injury, but after several days of testing by specialists he’s been diagnosed with nerve irritation in his shoulder.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Carpenter is “out indefinitely” with an injury similar to one he had in 2008 and “is going to have to recover then re-strengthen his shoulder” before rejoining the rotation.
In other words, it’s going to be a while.
Carpenter had already been scratched from his Opening Day assignment, with Kyle Lohse taking his place, and Lance Lynn will step into his rotation spot for however long is needed.
As part of a two-year contract signed in September the 36-year-old Carpenter is owed $21 million and for the second straight year the Cardinals must now replace their No. 1 starter before the season begins, although at least Adam Wainwright looks healthy again after missing all of 2011.
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.