Bummer: longtime minor leaguer and former feel-good story Max St. Pierre suspended for a “drug of abuse”

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Max St. Pierre made the news back in September 2010 for finally getting a major league callup — to the Tigers — after 14 years in the minors. Pierre’s journey had been a rocky one, going from catcher to an ill-fated attempt by the Brewers to change him into a pitcher, and then back to catcher again.

Even rockier was a troubled history with alcohol abuse. Which makes the news of his suspension today all the more unfortunate:

Free agent Minor League catcher Max St. Pierre has received a 50-game suspension after a second violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program for a drug of abuse. The suspension of St. Pierre will be effective immediately upon his signing with another Major League organization.

Based on the fact that he is a free agent, it’s quite likely that he was done playing anyway. If, with baseball now gone, he slipped back into alcohol abuse or onto something else, that would be sad indeed.

(h/t to Allison for reminding me of St. Pierre’s long minor league odyssey)

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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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.