CC Sabathia dominated the Orioles over the first seven innings tonight, but the Orioles had their chance in the top of the eighth. They failed to deliver the knockout punch.
Matt Wieters led off the eighth with a single and Manny Machado drew a walk before Mark Reynolds struck out swinging for the first out of the inning. Lew Ford, yes that Lew Ford, then drove Wieters home with a single into left field past a diving Derek Jeter.
Things got really interesting after Robert Andino hit a tapper back to Sabathia. Eric Chavez wasn’t covering third base, so Sabathia decided to make a throw to second base. However, Lew Ford beat the throw, which set up a bases-loaded situation. Sabathia managed to escape the jam by striking out Nate McLouth and getting J.J. Hardy to ground out to shortstop.
The Yankees are currently up in the bottom of the eighth and hold a 3-1 lead.
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.