The A’s only tallied three hits off Tigers ace Justin Verlander in Saturday’s ALDS Game 1 loss at Comerica Park. Through three innings Sunday, Oakland already has five hits against Doug Fister.
Cliff Pennington and Coco Crisp hit back-to-back singles to open the top of the third, then Yoenis Cespedes drove Pennington in with a base hit of his own. Crisp nearly scored when Brandon Moss punched a pitch to right field in the next at-bat, but the Tigers’ Avisail Garcia threw a dart to home plate and Gerald Laird made a nice, quick tag to nab the Oakland speedster. So it could have been much worse for Detroit.
The Tigers marched back in the bottom of the frame when Miguel Cabrera hit a one-out double and Delmon Young drove him in from third base on a slow-rolling grounder. The score is 1-1 as we open the fourth.
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.