Back in May veteran reliever Guillermo Mota was suspended 100 games for his second positive performance enhancing drug test and today the right-hander rejoined the Giants’ active roster after serving his punishment.
At the time Mota claimed that his positive test for Clenbuterol was the result of taking a children’s cough medicine, which his agent called “severe and unfair and does not reflect the intention of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.”
MLB did not deny that Mota’s story was plausible, yet the punishment stood and he sat out 100 games without pay. Now the 39-year-old returns to a team that just lost Melky Cabrera to a 50-game suspension and will give the Giants some middle relief innings down the stretch.
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.