It went largely unnoticed in the excitement of the Zack Greinke deal, but the Angels activated Vernon Wells from the disabled list prior to last night’s game against the Rays.
Wells had been out since May 21 after fracturing his right thumb while stealing a base. He went 8-for-26 (.308) with two home runs, a double and three RBI in seven games during his recent minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake.
Wells didn’t play in last night’s game and will have to get used to sitting on the bench regularly. According to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, Angels manager Mike Scioscia plans to use him in place of Kendrys Morales in the DH spot against left-handed pitching and in the outfield when when someone needs a day off.
Wells would naturally prefer to be in the lineup on an everyday basis, but he’s ready to accept to his new diminished role.
“At first, it was kind of hard,” Wells said. “Now — it just is what it is. You go out when you get a chance to play and approach the game like you did when you were a kid. Go out and have fun, try to help the team win.
“It’ll be different. Just as with anything as this game goes along, you make adjustments.”
Wells was batting .242/.282/.422 with six homers, 12 RBI through 38 games this season prior to the injury and has a .669 OPS in 671 plate appearances dating back to the start of last season. The 33-year-old is still owed $21 million in both 2013 and 2014.
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.