After failing to capitalize on early scoring threats against Phil Hughes, the Orioles have finally broken through against Phil Hughes. Nate McLouth led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo homer to right field to break a scoreless tie and give the Orioles a 1-0 lead.
Hughes issued leadoff walks in three out of the first four innings, but managed to wiggle out of trouble each time. The Orioles are an astounding 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position so far tonight.
The Yankees have also had their fair share of chances against Joe Saunders, the most prominent of which was when Jayson Nix led off the bottom of the third inning with a double. However, Saunders managed to strike out Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki and Mark Teixeira swinging. Yes, Joe Saunders actually did 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.