Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of Brian Roberts’ last game action for the Orioles and concussions have limited the former All-Star second baseman to just 98 total games since the beginning of 2010.
Roberts spoke to Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun about his year on the sidelines, calling it “extremely hard and very frustrating at times, but at the same time I’m very grateful for where I am today.”
During the past week he’s been fielding ground balls and even diving to make plays, which Roberts called “a big hurdle physically as well as mentally.”
As for when he might actually return to the Orioles’ lineup, there’s still no timetable but Roberts indicated that the team may soon begin talking about a minor-league rehab schedule. That may not sound like a ton of progress, but at this point Roberts is simply trying to save his career at age 34 and in the third season of a four-year, $40 million contract.
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.