Time goes slower when you’re young, so to a kid who grew up in the 1980s — it felt like Harold Baines played for 100 years. Now, as an adult, time goes way too fast, so it seems like David Ortiz has only been around for a moderate amount of time. Except, as Rob Bradford of WEEI says:
… when analyzing exactly how unique Ortiz is in the game today understand that he is about to break a record that may never be broken again — most plate appearances by a designated hitter. He enters Monday’s game 361 behind the all-time leader, Harold Baines.
Just didn’t realize he was that close. I suppose part of it is that Baines managed to play some outfield along the way as late as his stint with Oakland whereas Ortiz only gets a couple of token starts at first during interleague season, but still, I was kinda surprised by that.
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.