The Yankees never made an attempt to lure Pedro Martinez to the Bronx, but now they can show off the original “Little Pedro.”
In need of a little extra pitching depth with David Phelps having made the team, the Yankees signed Ramon Ortiz to a minor league deal, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. He’ll presumably pitch in Triple-A.
Ortiz, 39, made two starts and 20 relief appearances for the Cubs last season, amassing a 4.86 ERA. He was cut by the Giants last week after giving up six runs — three earned — in 10 2/3 innings this spring.
Ortiz last pitched in the American League in 2007, went he went 4-4 with a 5.14 ERA in 91 innings for the Twins. He earned the “Little Pedro” moniker in his youth with the Angels (back before everyone knew he was a few years older than his listed age). He spent six years with the Angels, winning 15 games in 2002 and 16 in 2003.
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.